The sounds of dogs barking greets Animal Control Officer Jason McLain as he walks into the back room of the Shelton Animal Shelter, where dogs who need a new home are located.
The ages of the dogs just two weeks ago at the shelter ranged from 2 to 7 years old. All have a story, some of which the officers who work with the animals just don’t know.
“The goal is to get them adopted to a suitable family,” said Lt. Robert Kozlowsky, police department spokesman, who also oversees the animal control facility.
Take Molly, a shepherd mix. She was brought to the shelter in December because a college student could no longer take care of her.
There was another dog who was found in Shelton about a year ago, emaciated and roaming. Animal control officers were able to get the dog the care it needed, and the pup eventually got a new home, where he gets to swim, run and play.
“We take them in, we nurse them back and find them great homes,” said McLain. The other animal control officer in the city is Michelle DeAngelo.
Space for dogs and cats
The new $1.4-million facility replaced the aging facility nearby on Riverdale Avenue. There’s room to hold 26 dogs and 14 cats in the new shelter. Housing felines is new for this shelter, as the old shelter didn’t have facilities for them.
The shelter is also temperature-controlled. Animals are housed comfortably in the hot or cold weather, and dogs have the chance to run outside in fenced areas when the weather is right.
The facility is more modern and the staff is finding new ways to get the word out about the animals housed there. A Facebook page gives photos and descriptions of animals as they come in.
Also, potential new families visiting the facility may look at a book of dogs in need of homes to decide which dog they would like to meet. From there, people are brought to the adoption room, where they can interact with the dog.
A more ‘people-friendly’ approach
“They have a chance to pick the dog, and the dog has the chance to pick them back,” said Kozlowsky. “The point is to be more people-friendly.”
Having access to Facebook is a real plus, something that wasn’t accessible at the old building, said Kozlowsky. “Having Internet access is vital to running any business,” he said.
The animal control facility works with other organizations, including the Friends of the Shelton Animal Shelter.
How to help the shelter operation
The animal shelter is always in need of items.
The ongoing list of needed supplies for dogs are large and small dog breed Pedigree canned and dry food and Milkbone biscuits. For the cats: Fancy Feast wet food, Purina One (chicken-turkey), scoopable cat litter, treats, and toys.
Also needed in the shelter are clear laundry detergent and unscented dryer sheets. The facility is asking for the specific brands because it is recommended the animals eat the same food.
The adoption fee is $60, which includes getting a spayed or neutered animal that is microchipped (to help find the animal if it is lost) and up to date on its shots. The facility checks references.
The shelter is at 11 Brewster Lane, off Riverdale Avenue. Hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday by appointment. Find more information about the shelter and the animals for adoption on its Facebook page, or by calling 203-924-2501.