Clarke County Animal Shelter Addition Opens | Winchester Star
BERRYVILLE – An addition to the Clarke County animal shelter that opened on Friday is designed to prevent the disease from spreading among cats, dogs and other creatures that take refuge there.
The shelter is located on Ramsburg Lane, near DG Cooley Primary School, west of Berryville. The 1,093 square foot addition is the first to the facility since it opened in 2004.
Clarke County Sheriff’s Office deputies frequently bring stray animals to the shelter that they pick up while on duty. The âisolation additionâ will allow MPs to drop off stray animals – which may not be healthy – after office hours without having them pass through the section of the shelter where healthy animals are housed.
Deputy Chief Travis Sumption said sheriff’s office workers have yet to use the addition. They are waiting for protocols to be developed, he said.
Barbara Byrd of the Clarke County Humane Foundation recalled cases of kennel cough at the shelter. Kennel cough is an upper respiratory infection that spreads in unvaccinated dogs in confined spaces. Although it is extremely contagious, it is usually not fatal.
Yet as epidemics diminish, “that puts you out of service for about two weeks,” Byrd said. Animals cannot be adopted and new animals cannot be brought into the shelter, she said.
The shelter’s senior worker, Marcella Helinski, said the new animals will stay in the annex until they are vaccinated and staff are sure they are healthy.
The addition has about 25 cages of different sizes. It also has a cage-like enclosure that is “large enough to hold a human,” noted Robina Rich-Bouffault, a Clarke County resident who attended the opening ceremony.
Helinski said the enclosure is designed to accommodate a large dog. She showed how the enclosure, which is on wheels, can be modified and moved.
The walls and floors of the addition are blue, a color that can help relax nervous critters. Other features include cabinets and counters, a refrigerator, a concierge sink, and long linear floor drains to make the room easy to wash and sanitize.
âWe’re hoping to be able to keep it looking classy – not institutional, but user-friendly,â Byrd said.
The addition has food, water and cleaning supplies separate from the rest of the shelter.
Sufficient space is available to host meetings and gatherings such as the Friday ceremony.
Basically “it’s a multipurpose room,” Byrd said. âIt’s a very useful piece.
The addition brings the total size of the refuge, jointly owned by the Clarke County Humane Foundation and the county, to 7,493 square feet.
The donations fully covered the construction cost of the addition of approximately $ 268,000.
âPeople have been greatâ in donating, Byrd added.
Howard Shockey & Sons Construction of Winchester was the contractor.
Cisco Systems co-founder Sandy Lerner, animal welfare activist and owner of Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. Mentioning the issues she faced growing up, she recalled that some of her most memorable moments were those spent with animals. She described animals as “the fundamental pleasure of my life”.
âAnimals are so easy to make,â Lerner said, âand they give back immediately. “
When adopted, the animals become âworry-free and fearless,â she noted.
For anyone who wants a four-legged friend, the refuge is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Monday and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday. Animals awaiting adoption can be viewed online at petfinder.com.
Donations are always needed to keep the shelter in operation. Tax deductible contributions can be mailed to the Humanitarian Foundation at PO Box 713, Berryville VA 22611.
The foundation is a member of the American Humane Society.