Adoption Center Opening
In just another few weeks, we will officially open the E. Stuart James Grant Adoption Center! We are thrilled with it, and we believe it will be a wonderful tool to help us in our efforts to help the animals.
In 1984, we contracted with the City of Danville to operate the animal shelter. At that time, the shelter consisted of a small office area and about ten dog runs. Cats and other animals were not accepted. Through an agreement with the City, we build 28 dog runs in a “double-decker” style, along with a small cat area and a small kitchen area. We gave the expanded shelter to the City as a gift.
The first day we took over operation of the shelter, we took in about 100 animals from owners who had waited for the expanded shelter to open. Our eyes were quickly opened to the tremendous task ahead of us. I served on the board then, but could not volunteer that day because I was working full-time. I called the shelter to check on things, and was surprised to learn about the huge number of animals already being sheltered.
During a State Veterinary inspection in 1989, the City was told that it needed to build dog and cat isolation areas, as well as a larger cat room. The City paid for that expansion.
Then, in 2007, through the generosity of the E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust, we expanded the dog holding areas by building 28 more dog runs.
In 1992, when I became the director, we took in a little more than 2,000 animals. I thought that was a huge number. However, the numbers have increased. In 2009, we took in 6,063 animals, in 2010, we took in 5,442 animals and in 2011, we took in 5,608 animals.
The new “no-kill” adoption center will not solve all the overpopulation problems in Danville and Pittsylvania County, but will provide us more space to hold the adoptable animals. We will still be an open-admission shelter, which means we will not turn away animals. Once an animal comes into the shelter, and they become our property through state law, they will be evaluated for behavioral and health issues. As space permits, they will be accepted into the adoption center, and will be held until they are adopted or transferred to another group (as long as they remain healthy and non-aggressive). We are thrilled to be able to build this center, through the generosity of many donors and supporters, as well as the E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust, and give it as a gift to the City of Danville.
The adoption center has a cat colony room, a kitten colony room, a grooming room, twelve more dog runs, a room for small animals, office space, and a retail space for us to sell basic pet supplies, as well as gifts for animal lovers.
We will have a volunteer orientation soon for volunteers – present and future – who would like to help us in the expanded shelter. We need people to help keep the adoption center clean and shining the visitors and residents, people to walk and socialize the animals, people to give baths to dogs and puppies, and people to help us keep the animals flea free and happy.
Many things have changed since 1984 when we began operating the shelter, and it is a joy associating with so many creatures.