A little after 11:00 Monday night, the shelter manager came to the shelter to meet a police officer who had a cat in a trap. We thought it was a humane trap, and that it would be a routine after-hours call. Not so. The cat had been caught in the City of Danville with a cruel body-gripping trap. The cat was severely injured and had to be euthanized. We believe there are more humane ways to deal with “nuisance wildlife” complaints. The picture is graphic, but this link will take you to a picture of the cat in the trap. We will let you judge for yourselves whether you believe these traps should be allowed in the City.
WARNING, GRAPHIC IMAGES IN LINK!! NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDRENS EYES.
We are pleased to invite you to our annual meeting on Monday, May 13th, at 7:00 p.m. at the shelter. We will give our annual report of our 2012-2013 activities, and announce the following awards: William Schwarz Animal Hero of the Year, Emmett Edmonds Officers of the Year, and the Rudy Kramer Award for a Special Animal. We’re also announcing our two first members of the Saint Francis Animal Friends Society. Light refreshments will be served.
For Immediate Release
April 12, 2013
Contact: Paulette Dean
The Danville Area Humane Society is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who threw a four week-old kitten onto the Robertson Bridge.
Around 1:15 this afternoon, a woman traveling on the bridge saw something being thrown from a burgundy late model Ford Windstar van. She turned around as soon as she could, and pulled over to the side. She saw a small, gray tabby kitten on the bridge, and a back leg appeared to be broken. She brought the kitten to the shelter. The kitten, a female, has been taken to a local veterinary clinic for emergency treatment.
Paulette Dean, executive director, said, “Has society really become this coarse? After 21 years of seeing cruelty and neglect, I am still horrified by cases like this. The person who threw the kitten out meant for her to die, and meant for her to die a cruel death.”
Lynn Shelton, board president and humane investigator, said, “The person probably meant for the kitten to land in the river.”
April Hogan, shelter manager for 19 years agreed, and added, “The poor kitten was completely defenseless.”
Cruelty to animals is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and is punishable by fines of up to $2,500 and /or a jail sentence of up to twelve months.
Reward money comes from donated funds, and no taxpayer money is used for the reward.
Anyone who has information about this case is urged to call 799-0843. Callers may remain anonymous.
For Immediate Release
April 1, 2013
Contact: Paulette Dean
We are thrilled to invite the public to our one-year anniversary in the E. Stuart James Grant Adoption Center on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
We will celebrate this important milestone by helping animals with reduced adoption fees for approved questionnaires turned in that day. The adoption fees will be reduced from $85 for dogs and cats to $50 – or even lower. Paulette Dean, executive director, said, “About a month ago, we issued a challenge to our Facebook friends to help us reach 3,000 likes on our Facebook page. If we reach that number by 8:00 a.m. on April 6th, adoption fees will be reduced to $25, and the adoption package will still be in effect. The adoption fees always pay for the spay/neuter surgery, a health exam, and rabies shot. As of March 31st, we have 2,189 likes. If we get at least 2,500 likes by 8:00 a.m. on April 6th, the fees will be reduced to $40. Otherwise, the fees will be reduced to $50.”
Lynn Shelton, board president said, “This is a fun way to encourage people to visit our Facebook page so they can see what good works we do to help the animals.”
Dr. Mary Betterton of Brosville Animal Clinic will be on hand to give rabies shots at the reduced fee of $5, and microchipping will also be available for reduced prices.
Lona Kokinda, who is a board member, hairstylist, and photographer, will take pet photos that day. The 4×6 glossy prints that will be available immediately will only cost $8 each.
We want the shelter animals to join in the celebration fun, and invite members of the public to donate canned cat food, hot dogs for the dogs, and special treats for birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits.
The adoption shelter has helped save many lives, and we invite everyone to visit with us for our anniversary celebration.
For Immediate Release
February 25, 2013
Contact: Paulette Dean
The Danville Area Humane Society is offering a reward of $1,000 for information that
leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who tied a 4 month-old puppy in a
plastic bag and placed the bag in the dumpster on Oak Street in Danville.
Around 1:30 this afternoon, a young man noticed the bag moving and tore it open. The
puppy immediately came out of the bag.
She is a pit bull mix type dog, and is suffering from hair loss and rashes.
underweight, and is currently being evaluated and treated at a local veterinary clinic. Indications
are that she has other health issues.
“We are horrified by this; the puppy had no chance of surviving if she had not been
rescued,” said Paulette Dean, the director of the Danville Area Humane Society. “Furthermore,
it is obvious that the person who did this meant for the puppy to die.”
Lynn Shelton, board president and humane investigator, said, “Abandonment is an
ongoing problem in this area. Bringing a puppy with medical problems to the shelter would not
have cost the owner anything.”
Abandonment of animals is ille
gal, but this case could also meet the cruelty standards in
Virginia. Cruelty to animals is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and is punishable by a prison term of up
to twelve months, a fine or up to $2,500, either or both.
Anyone who has information about this act of cruelty is urged to contact the Danville
Area Humane Society at (434) 799-5306. Calls may be kept confidential. The reward program
is supported by donations; taxpayer funds are not used.
For Immediate Release
January 22, 2013
Contact: Paulette Dean
Many of our board members and shelter staff routinely use the Riverwalk and, as a result,
we are aware of the problem with feces that litters the sidewalk. We are also aware that other
localities have feeding bans. We have studied the issues with interrupting migration patterns, the
dangers of certain types of food, and making wild animals dependent upon humans. The issue is
actually a very complex one, and involves many human emotions.
However, it remains our belief that the waterfowl that have lived around the Riverwalk
have been there for years, and will likely not migrate if people stop feeding them.
Unfortunately, humans have contributed to the problem by abandoning ducks that have been
acquired as gifts when young. We also believe that the danger of having spoiled food to attract
rodents and diseases is a worst case scenario and, in all likelihood, will not happen since the
ducks and geese quickly consume the food.
People enjoy feeding waterfowl, as well as feeding other wild birds and squirrels in
backyard feeders. We do, however, suggest that the proper food be offered.
We also realize that, as humans encroach on wildlife habitats, problems can occur.
Therefore, we support designated areas where feeding can take place. People who would prefer
to stay away from the waterfowl can plan their activities accordingly.
My New Year’s Eve celebrations usually come to an end long before midnight. I enjoy time with family
members, and then spend time thinking about the year past and the year future. I have usually chosen my theme
for the New Year a couple of weeks in advance, so I think about how the theme can positively impact my life
during the coming year.
Last January, we reported that we expected 2012 to be an exciting time for us, and it has been:
In April, we officially opened the new “no-kill” adoption center. This will not solve all the
overpopulation problems in Danville and Pittsylvania County, but provides us more space to hold the adoptable
animals. We are still an open-admission shelter, which means we do not turn away animals. Once an animal
comes into the shelter, and they become our property through state law, they are evaluated for behavioral and
health issues. As space permits, they are accepted into the adoption center, and are held until they are adopted
or transferred to another group (as long as they remain healthy and non-aggressive). We were 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.
We continued to help residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County pay for the spay/neuter
surgery. Frankly, larger shelters with the combination of more adoptions cannot solve all the problems of
overpopulation and abuse. Only spaying and neutering to reduce the number of unwanted animals can solve the
problem. Since 1993, we have helped 22,000 dogs and cats in Danville and Pittsylvania County, spending over
$500,000, again mostly through the generosity of the E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust. We have brought
back our popular rebate program. At least the day before they take the animal to a veterinary clinic for the
surgery, residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County may come to the shelter to pick up a certificate. Then,
with a copy of the veterinary bill, a self-addressed envelope, and the certificate, we send a check for $25. In
2012, we also gave approximately $30,000 to local veterinary clinics as spay/neuter grants.
We expanded our volunteer programs. We have a large group of dedicated people who enjoy
serving the animals. People can serve on our fundraising committee, or they can serve as shelter volunteers.
Shelter employees stay busy taking care of the basic needs of shelter animals, and we love for volunteers to help
exercise the animals. With our adoption center opening, we rely on volunteers more than ever. In fact, we hope
some people even help us clean the cages and do laundry. The dogs absolutely love to go into the fenced-in
area, and volunteers provide vital socialization for the shelter animals. Our fundraising committee is a
dedicated group of people who work tirelessly to raise money so the animals can be helped. Thank you,
We continued our 24 hours a day, 365 days a year work of helping the animals. We conducted
neglect and cruelty investigations and help rescue animals.
As always, we hope that the New Year will be a kinder one for all animals, and we look forwarding to
serving all the wonderful creatures with whom we share this earth.
Finally, we helped about 7,000 animals!
By Paulette Dean
In early summer, Dr. Richard Wilkes, the State Veterinarian, established a work-group to study the comprehensive animal laws. The idea for the workgroup came before the last legislative session, but became a reality after the session was a contentious one for animal issues.
I was asked to serve on this work-group, and have gone to Richmond for the meetings. Statewide animal groups are represented, including the Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters, Virginia Animal Control Association, and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, as well as the Virginia Department of Health, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and the Farm Bureau. Other at-large members recommended by stakeholders are included.
We have been tasked with discussing trap/neuter/release programs because this issue is a volatile one, with passion on either side.
In formal trap/neuter/release programs, feral and/or stray cats are trapped, sterilized, ears tipped, given a rabies vaccination, and then returned to the trap site. The thought is that they are cats that would not be happy being placed in homes. During the trapping process, the younger kittens are also picked up and placed as pets. The released cats became part of a managed cat colony.
Under Virginia law, the process has been considered abandonment. Proponents of the program consider it a more humane alternative than trapping feral cats and taking them to shelters, where the outcome will probably be euthanasia. Opponents of the program believe that the cats do not live happy lives; they still face the perils of being in the wild.
Last year, a bill was introduced that would have made TNR programs legal for localities to support, but there was a change in how the program would be managed. After sterilization, the cats would have been released onto property, and no one would have been responsible for feeding them, monitoring their health, making sure they have rabies boosters, etc.
There are many complex issues associated with this. For instance, if a stray cat is trapped, veterinarians cannot obtain permission from an owner to perform surgery because there is no owner. The legislation last year would have designated the person who trapped the cat to be the owner only for the few minutes it would take to sign the release form. How can a locality prosecute owners of animals who fail to provide adequate care, but then not require adequate care of these feral cats? On and on and on the discussion goes.
The wildlife people are opposed to any feral cat colonies. In fact, they support cat licensing, and not allowing cats to roam at large.
My opinion is that managed colonies at least give a degree of care and protection to the feral cats, but the colonies should be registered and monitored. I feel sorry for the wildlife, though. I am strongly opposed to releasing cats without having to provide food, water, and shelter.
One thing that everybody at the table agrees on – there are too many cats being born. Hopefully, this workgroup can reach a humane solution to the seemingly overwhelming problem.