The Annette Nolen Ferguson Foster Fund

For Immediate Release
Contact: Paulette Dean
(434) 799-5306

The Danville Area Humane Society is thrilled to announce the creation of a new fund, the Annette Nolen Ferguson Foster Fund. Annette, the daughter of Judy and George Nolen, died on October 25, 2005.

As Mrs. Nolen spoke with us about her desires to memorialize her daughter, she told us that shortly before Annette passed away, she found a litter of orphaned, unweaned kittens. She lovingly cared for them and then found them all homes. We told Mrs. Nolen our desire to expand our foster program for special needs animals, as well as for litters of kittens and puppies. We told her that we wanted to provide kitten and puppy formula, as well as expanded veterinary services, and together we determined that a fund to help support that work in Annette’s name would be an appropriate way to pay tribute to her.

“All donations earmarked for this fund will be used for this lifesaving work,” said Paulette Dean, director. “Donations, of course, are tax-deductible.”

People interested in providing foster care may apply at the shelter.

Donations may be made in person, through PayPal (a link is provided on our Facebook page), or may be mailed to Danville Area Humane Society, P.O. Box 3352, Danville, VA 24540.

The Danville Area Humane Society is expanding!

The board and staff of the Danville Area Humane Society are thrilled to announce that a $250,000 grant has been received from The E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust to renovate and remodel the oldest parts of the city public animal shelter. The cat room and isolation areas will be renovated and the older dog runs that have not been used for over ten years will be gutted and turned into a cat room.

Paulette Dean, director, said, “We are deeply grateful to the Trustees for supporting our work through the years. When we received notification of this grant, I sat at my desk with tear-filled eyes, so thankful for this opportunity to improve the shelter.”

Ken Larking, the City Manager of Danville, said, “We are pleased to hear that the Danville Area Humane Society received this much-needed grant to upgrade the facility. For many years, the City has enjoyed a great working relationship with the Danville Area Humane Society and we appreciate everything they do for our community.”

The Danville Area Humane Society has operated the public shelter since 1984. The organization expanded the shelter at that time with a loan from a bank. In 1989, the City paid for the addition of a cat room and isolation areas. The Society built 28 additional dog runs in 2007 and then an adoption center in 2012. All of the Society additions and improvements were funded through grants and private donations.

“We invite everyone to come to our Santa pet photo event and adoption fair this Saturday,” said Dean. “We are having a sale on our t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. All of the proceeds from events like this support the work of the animal shelter, as well as our community outreach and education programs.”

In addition to the $250,000 grant (payable over five years), a $50,000 grant was received for spaying and neutering programs.

Santa Claus is coming…to DAHS! No, really!

Santa Wally
Waylaid by the snow, Santa had to turn back last weekend, but have no fear, he’s coming! Santa will be at the Danville Area Humane Society on Saturday, December 16th. Santa Claus will be at the shelter from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bring your pets, your children, your parents, yourselves and have pictures taken with him. After all, we have the #bestsantaever. A 4×6 picture in a holiday frame is yours for $10, plus we will send you via e-mail all of the other pictures taken of you. We are going to have an adoption fair, plus we will have a sale of all our sweatshirts and hoodies. Don’t cry, shout, or pout, but just come out to the shelter for this annual event.

New spay and neuter programs happening now!

The Danville Area Humane Society is thrilled to announce two spay/neuter programs.

On September 13th and 14th, the PETA mobile clinic will once again be at the Danville animal shelter. This year, 140 surgeries will be performed in those two days. There are still a few openings for dogs, and several for cats, so sign up now!

“Through the courtesy of the E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust, the surgery will be free to City of Danville residents,” said Paulette Dean, director. “The surgery for pets owned by Pittsylvania County residents will be $10 for cats and $15 for dogs.”

Limited additional services will be provided at greatly reduced prices, but the pet owner is responsible for those costs.

Appointments can be made by calling (434) 799-0843. There is a limit of two pets per household.

“We also are happy to announce an increase in our spay/neuter rebate certificates,” said Dean. “Beginning August 10th and continuing through August 31st, rebate certificates will be up to $35 for Pittsylvania County residents and up to $75 for Danville City residents.”

The following guidelines apply:

The rebate certificates must be picked up at least one day before the animal is taken to the clinic for the surgery.
The pets must have an owner who is responsible for the ongoing care of the animal.
The animal must live in Danville/Pittsylvania County and the owner must reside there also.
The certificate may not be used for any animal adopted from another shelter or rescue group.
If the cat is feral, there must be an owner who is prepared to provide food, water, and shelter for the cat. The cat may not be released on to any public property, but must live on the property of the person trapping and releasing the cat.
The certificate must be dated at least the day before the animal is taken in for the surgery.
The certificate cannot be combined with any other DAHS program, including DAHS grant money paid to veterinarians.
The surgery must be completed between August 10th, 2017 through November 1, 2017, and the certificates must be redeemed within two weeks of the date of the surgery.

“The only way to decrease the number of animals received at shelters is to decrease the number of unwanted animals,” Dean said. “We hope many citizens take advantage of these programs.”

Addition: The rebate certificates must be used at a local veterinary clinic. Proof of residency in the City will be required for both programs.

It’s time for our favorite fundraising event!

Paws and Claws buddyJoin us at Gentleman’s Ridge Farm on September 30 from 6pm to 10:30 pm and help us raise money for local animals. We will have dancing, live music from The Pizzaz Band, a silent auction, a photo booth (We’ll supply everything but the camera!), vegetarian hors d’oeuvres, and a beer and wine cash bar. Tickets are $35 each for general seating or reserved tickets for 8 are $40 each.

To purchase tickets:
Mail check to P.O. Box 3352, Danville, VA 24543, or…
Pay in person at the shelter at 996 South Boston Rdl, Danville, or…
Pay through our link to PayPal on Facebook

Special thanks to our sponsors:
Allocca Law; Animal Medical Center; Brosville Animal Clinic; Carolina-Virginia Animal Hospital; Cherrystone Veterinary Hospital; Computer Bookkeeping & Tax Services; D&M Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.; Daniel, Medley, Kirby, PC; DanvilleToyota; Delegate Danny annd Mrs. Kaye Marshall; Doctor Malcom and Mrs. Martha Mallery; Doctor Stuart and Mrs. Patrice Kramer; Harris, Harvey, Neal & Co., LLC; Hilary Wyatt in memory of Barbara Smith; JJ HoganTowing in memory of John Hyler, Linda’s Country Kitchen; Minda Kramer; Moore Insurance Agency; Pink Plumber; Quality Control; Robert Woodall Auto; The Family Vet; Westside Diner.

Special thanks to Tony Hyler

Yard sale time!

Yard SaleWe’re on the countdown to our HUGE yard sale. It will be this Saturday from 7:30 – 12:00 noon at the Community Market. We have been overwhelmed by your response to our plea for donations. There must be some empty closets and storage rooms in Danville and Pittsylvania County now because our walls are bulging! Volunteers will be at the Community Market this week — Monday through Friday — from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and we will still accept donations of gently used clothes, household goods, toys, seasonal items, electronics, furniture, etc. All of the proceeds will be used to help the shelter animals.


Critter Chat – March 29,2017

In 1996, national animal organizations established seven basic policies for every animal shelter. Over 20 years later, I am not sure what organization led the way, but they were printed in the January-February 1996 Animal Sheltering Magazine of The Humane Society of the United States. Shelters were encouraged to consider these basic essentials of their programs.

They were:

1. Accept every animal brought in.

2. Do not charge a fee for surrendered animals.

3. Maintain a clean, comfortable, safe, and healthy environment for each animal.

4. Hold stray animals for a minimum of five operating days, including a Saturday.

5. Screen prospective adopters using adoption standards.

6. For euthanasia, use sodium pentobarbital administered by well-trained, compassionate individuals.

7. Spay or neuter all animals at time of adoption, or guarantee that all adopted animals are later sterilized.

Things have changed. There are very few true open-admission shelters left. The trend is to decrease the number of animals euthanized by decreasing the number of animals received. The positive side of that is that shelters are working harder to promote spaying and neutering of dogs and cats.

However, there are very negative consequences for the change in policies. It is more common for shelters to have guidelines for the types of animals they accept. Some choose not to accept healthy animals from their owners, not provide pick-up services for cats (unless the cat is apparently ill or injured), and not provide euthanasia services of animals for owners who have been told by a veterinarian that the animal is too ill or injured for treatment. Other shelters have waiting lists to accept animals.

Other shelters decide to charge an admission fee. One recent case in Pennsylvania resulted in the death of a cat when the owner urged his dog to attack and kill a cat he had been keeping in his basement. The animal control officers would have charged him $100 to pick up the cat and he could not afford it.

That case, sadly, is not the only one. When animals are turned away by shelters, the owners may decide there is no other option other than to kill them or abandon them. News reports have been filled with such incidents. We have a file of such reports.

Every single shelter should work hard to decrease the number of animals euthanized, but it should never come by simply turning animals away or making it too expensive for the owners to seek help.


Critter Chat is published bi-weekly by the Chatham Star Tribune. See the original article here.

The Easter Bunny is here!

EasterWe’re ready for the Easter Bunny pictures with pets and/or children! Come to the shelter tomorrow between 11-3 and for $8, receive a 4X6 picture in a holiday frame. Plus, we will e-mail you all the pictures taken during your session. Thanks, Val-Rae, for getting the room ready! (We’re also having an adoption fair and have discounted prices for our brand-new t-shirts.)

Critter Chat – February 15, 2017

The way I look at storm drains has significantly changed over the past 25 years.  More cats and dogs than we ever wanted to know about use these storm drains to safely go from place to place, and to get a little bit of perceived security.  I am not exaggerating when I say that more often than not, I think about animals whenever I see a storm drain.

During the spring and summer, the calls about kittens meowing in these drains increase.  Riverside Drive and Piedmont Drive have a real problem with stray cats using the storm drainage system to navigate traffic.

I cannot remember the first storm drain call I received, but I remember several unique cases.

Late one night, we received a call from the police department. An adult cat had been injured and had jumped into a storm drain. We readily agreed to help, and met the police at the address. Our catchpoles could not reach the cat, and she was so frightened that she kept retreating further into the drain. I believe that was the first time we had the idea of baiting a trap with food and slowly lowering the trap into the drain. It took a couple of hours, but she finally went in!

Another call took us to a business that had a problem with stray kittens in their parking lot drains. We were able to catch a couple with poles, but the majority eluded capture. They were so tiny and could not jump out of the drains. About 2 a.m. the next morning, I woke up to the sounds of heavy rain. The kittens were the only thing I could think about. I called a patient volunteer who helped me realize that it was probably already too late to help those kittens. As soon as we got to work that morning, we went back to the business; sadly, we didn’t hear any sound of kittens meowing.

In another case, an injured cat had been seen jumping in and out of the drains on Riverside Drive. We set a trap and police officers on night duty faithfully checked the trap. Around midnight, she went into the trap and was taken to the shelter. She required veterinary care; the kindhearted police officer that found her in the trap wound up adopting her. She has had a wonderful life of being spoiled for many years now.

A few years ago, we were also called to the location of a storm drain where a large dog had become trapped. We rescued her and she was adopted. In another dog case, three dogs were trapped in the system under Audubon Drive. Public Works employees used a remote-controlled camera to find their location and they were also rescued from the drains.

We still laugh about the time a woman who was walking on Franklin Turnpike heard a small kitten meowing. When we got to the approximate address we had been given, the cell phone rang, so I stayed in the car for a few minutes to answer some questions. April walked over to the sidewalk and got down on her stomach so she could listen to any sounds coming from the storm drain.  She not only heard, but also saw a four week-old kitten beyond arm’s reach. It took several minutes, but by throwing canned food down into the drain and keeping the catchpole in position, April was successful in catching the little one.  When April and I were driving away, we noticed a Pittsylvania County sheriff’s department car with the lights on going slowly down Franklin Turnpike.  We had the same thought at the same time -someone called in a report of a woman lying on her stomach on Franklin Turnpike.  I called the emergency dispatch center and was told that, yes, the officers were looking for a woman who was lying on her stomach.  I told the dispatcher what had happened, and that all had ended well.

In another unique storm drain story, a mother bird was seen hopping around a storm drain in front of a doctor’s office. We discovered one of her little babies had fallen into the drain.

April and I duct-taped wood dowels onto a small goldfish net and were able to capture her baby. The mother had stayed nearby, and there was a happy reunion of mother and baby.

It is amazing how our view of such simple things can change.

I will always think of the animals saved, lost, and in peril when I see storm drains.



Critter Chat is published bi-weekly by the Chatham Star Tribune. See the original article here.

New Spay/Neuter certificates available now

Beginning Wednesday, February 22nd, and going through June 1st, City of Danville residents may pick up $50 spay/neuter certificates for their dogs and cats. Pittsylvania County residents may pick up $25 rebate certificates, which can be combined with the usual County vouchers of $25 (or $40 through February).

The certificates must be picked up at least the day before the animal is taken in for the surgery. The animals must be owned by the resident who picks up the certificate. We do not participate in TNR programs of cats, but if residents have outside cats that they provide care for, we will happily give out the certificates. If the animal has been adopted from any other shelter or rescue group, we cannot help pay for those surgeries since the other groups have their own programs. If the spay/neuter surgery itself costs less than the amount of the certificates (combined with vouchers), the rebate amount may be less.

These funds are made available through the generosity of The E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust, and we remain grateful. Let’s keep veterinary clinics very busy so open-admission shelters won’t have to be! Our office hours are 12-5:30 Monday through Friday and 12-3:30 on Saturday. THE CERTIFICATE MUST BE PICKED UP AT LEAST THE DAY BEFORE THE ANIMAL IS TAKEN TO THE VETERINARY CLINIC, SO PLAN ACCORDINGLY!