Clay County Animal Services find homes for 347 pets in July

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 8/14/19

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – July was one of the busiest months for Clay County Animal Services with nearly 350 animals being adopted.

Those adoptions included 120 dogs and 227 cats. They went home to …

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Clay County Animal Services find homes for 347 pets in July

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – July was one of the busiest months for Clay County Animal Services with nearly 350 animals being adopted.

Those adoptions included 120 dogs and 227 cats. They went home to new families as healthy, neutered, microchipped and vaccinated pets. The agency also works with other types of animals.

“We really do it all here,” Nagle said. “That’s something people might not recognize but we put all of the pieces together in the county’s animal control services from start to finish. There’s a lot of steps and a lot of people involved.”

Animal services offers a foster program, surgery, quarantine and a network of employees who impound and confiscate animals that have been abandoned, treated cruelly or deemed unsafe in public due to aggressive behavior.

Kittens are bottle-fed, dogs are taken outside for puppy playtime, goats, pigs and even horses are taken care of, and while all of that is happening, the shelter staff works to help families from all over Clay County determine which pet is right for their home. While the team at the office is busy doing that, another team takes over 300 calls a month for reports of animal cruelty, animal abandonment and stray animal sightings.

“Those animals usually make their way to here so on top of all the animals we already, we’re constantly taking in more,” Nagle said.

The shelter took in 132 dogs and 202 cats in July.

“It’s an ebb and flow of (animals) coming in and (animals) coming out,” Nagle said.

Nagle said as hurricane season approaches, it’s increasingly more important the shelter get as many animals into the arms of welcoming families. Not only is it important for these animals to have homes during one of the most stress-inducing periods of the year – imagine a shelter filled with cats and dogs during an extra-loud thunderstorm – but it’s important for the shelter to have extra space.

Animals often are abandoned during hurricanes, Nagle said, and animal services works around the clock to get the animals to safety.

Nagle said a way people can help without adopting an animal is by fostering an animal or litter of cats or puppies. Fostering an animal consists of a quick application before bringing a pet home for a set amount of time.

A family might bring a one-week-old kitten home and take care of it until it’s eight weeks old. he family then would return the kitten for its vaccinations, neutering and microchip. The family then has the option to adopt the kitten.

“The goal is to get that animal taken care of,” Nagle said.

Another type of foster care is Fospice – foster plus hospice – where a family takes care of an older animal.

“We just want these dogs to be able to spend their time in a home instead of cage,” Clay County Animal Services Medical Director Jennifer Broadhurst said.

The last type of fostering is known as a Bow Wow Breakout where a dog enjoys a new surrounding by leaving the shelter for a day.

Nagle said it is a way for a foster parent to show the animal to their inner circle of friends to increase the chance of an adoption.

“We’re always working toward the goal of getting the animal adopted,” Nagle said.

Broadhurst said that right now, there are 160 animals in foster care. Veterinary Technician Morgan Grove said at one point earlier this year, there were 240 animals in foster care.

“From April to August, we see the largest numbers of animals in foster care for the year,” Grove said. “Most of those (fosterers) take in more than one animal. They might take in an entire litter of kittens because we don’t necessarily want to separate that group.”

The shelter is funded by Clay County. Nagle said the community is helpful in providing homes, whether it be an adoption or foster, and donating food and supplies. Local partners like PetSmart and Petco help out, too.

“The community is a major player in making all of this happen,” Nagle said. “Everything goes toward our primary focus: making sure the animals and the public are safe.”

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