What's a dog to do when there is no more room at the county pound and there is no place else to go? And what is Jefferson County's answer to the problem of overcrowding? Will there be a greater push to euthanize to make room for more strays? What can some of the area's rescue groups do to help when they are already overworked and function on meager budgets? Instead of answers there seem to be only additional questions for the moment.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, the Jefferson County dog shelter is beyond its capacity with more than 30 dogs in-house and more being picked up each day. Sooner or later something has got to give.
Todd L. Cummings, supervisor of Jefferson County dog control states that adoptions have been slower than usual and he is not sure why. Mr. Cummings said the shelter adopted out only five dogs so far this month and that is less than the norm. "Adoptions seem low for some reason. This just started over the last month." He added that some dogs have been in house for only a day or two, while others remain for several months.
August was a banner month for dog control officers who picked up around 50 dogs. A typical month is usually about 30 dogs, says Mr Cummings. With the recent lag in the adoption rate this leaves the shelter in a quandary. While the shelter does advertise available animals on Petfinder, they can not maintain them well in an overcrowded facility.
According to statistics quoted in the Watertown Daily Times article, this year to date there have been 171 dogs redeemed by their owners, 125 adopted and 11 euthanized. While the Jefferson County dog pound is a facility that employs euthanasia, it is a last resort. Mr. Cummings and his staff have demonstrated on many occasions they are willing to work with the community and area rescue groups to save as many animals as possible. (See the story "Brody's been busted out!") And compared with some shelters the number of animals killed due to length of stay and lack of space is low. However, it is still a reality and if this situation continues the option remains a possibility.
Please help by adopting a shelter dog if you are looking for a pet. Shelter animals are not broken. They are, for the most part a victim of circumstance.
Visit Jefferson County dog control at their Facebook page for additional information.
To get to the pound from Watertown, travel West Main St. to the city limits (about 1 mile). Turn right into the Jefferson County Highway Department and keep an eye out for the dog shelter signs. For further information you can reach staff at 315-782-9179.
The pound is open seven days a week. The hours are:
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sunday 8 a. m. to 12 p.m.
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