With care, kindness, smiles animals can rebound

With care, kindness, smiles animals can rebound

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 6:00 am

http://www.godanriver.com/content/tncms/live/godanriver.com/entertainment_lifestyles/lifestyles/article_12bd4c6e-4343-11e3-8635-0019bb30f31a.htmlBy PAULETTE DEAN Contributing columnist

We have all seen pitiful people.

They may have been the awkward student in school who no one would sit beside at the cafeteria table. Maybe they were the homeless person on street. Maybe the pitiful person we remember was the hard-working person, struggling to carve out a good life for their child, while nothing seemed to work in their favor.

On and on goes the list of pitiful people. I have learned a thing or two over the past 21 years at the shelter about pitiful people and animals. May I share one such lesson?

I will use Dawn to illustrate the lesson. She is the pit bull who was chained in a lot this summer. Her neck had a massive injury, and when a police officer found her, her neck was thickly covered with flies. She was emaciated and pitiful. Her picture could actually become the poster picture for neglect.

She was seized from her owners, and taken immediately to a local veterinary clinic. There, she received emergency care for her neck wound. She eventually had surgery to repair the wound. She was found to have mange and treatment was started. We named her Dawn because the minute she was seized became the dawn of a new life for her. She gained weight and, after a few weeks, she came to the shelter.

A civil custody hearing in General District Court gave us ownership of her. She loves going on walks around the shelter grounds and loves meeting new people.

We wondered if she would get along with other dogs. Placing dogs in homes also gives us the responsibility to know as much as we can about a dog. So, we decided to introduce Dawn to some small dogs. Wally, my wirehaired dachshund mix, who comes to the shelter every day with me and April’s four small dogs were chosen for the test.

I was called to my office to take a telephone call, so I was not in the hallway when the test took place. I heard a lot of snarling, growling and snapping. The situation in the hallway was one of mayhem. I quickly hung up the phone, and went into the hall. It seems that Dawn passed the test with flying colors and our friendly, tiny dogs failed! To be sure, she does not like when dogs jump on her, but her behavior at the shelter has been very friendly.

Dawn has also gained so much weight, that I bet we are told to put her on a diet soon!

Dawn’s lesson to us is the same lesson we have learned from many starving, scared, and neglected animals. With basic care, and with lots of kindness, pitiful animals will probably cease to be pitiful.

Pitiful humans would also benefit from simple kindness. Simple smiles and gentle words can have a tremendous effect.

Dean is the director of the Danville Area Humane Society. Critter Corner is co-sponsored by the Register & Bee and the Danville Area Humane Society. Questions or comments should be directed to Critter Corner, P.O. Box 3352, Danville, VA 24543 or emailed to dahsinc@yahoo.com.



For Immediate Release

January 15, 2014

Contact:  Paulette Dean


            The Danville Area Humane Society is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the abandonment of a young puppy at the Mount Hermon dumpster site.

On January 15th, a person using the dumpster noticed a very small puppy curled up on a blanket in front of the dumpster.  The puppy, a brindle pit bull/Lab mix type puppy, was transported to the City of Danville animal shelter.  He is estimated to be about five weeks old.

“Abandonment of a companion animal is not only illegal, it is unethical and immoral,” said Paulette Dean, director and humane investigator.  “Trash dumpster sites have always been dumping grounds for animals.  Many cats are dumped at this particular site, and people feed them.  Perhaps that leads people to believe that an animal will be able to survive.”

Lynn Shelton, board president and humane investigator, agrees, and adds that this puppy was too young to have any chance of surviving on his own.  “It is the stretch of the imagination to think that this puppy could have made it to the dumpster site on his own.  We believe he was abandoned.”

The puppy will be held the required stray time (five days, not including the day he arrived at the shelter), and then will be placed for adoption.

Anyone with information about this puppy is urged to call 799-5306.  Callers may remain anonymous.

We won the Trees for a Cause!

We are grateful to Motley Florist.  Their beautiful tree won first place in the Institute’s Trees for a Cause.  Each organization keeps 75% of what was in their bucket, and the winning tree gets 25% of each organization’s bucket amount.  That means we get more money.  However, please read the following:
The Danville Area Humane Society is grateful for every penny that people have given us through… the years.  Donations, both large and small, have enabled us to help thousands of animals each year.  We also realize that each charitable organization represented in this contest has needs.  Their contributions to the community help Danville and Pittsylvania County to be a wonderful place to live.  As we thought of the efforts of the Wounded Warrior Project, God’s Storehouse, God’s Pit Crew, and all the others, we knew that our happiness at winning the contest could not be complete, since some of our increase comes through the loss of theirs.
In the spirit of Christmas and Hanukkah, we are going to return the 25% given to us by each charity.  This is a season of cooperation and community involvement, not a season of competition.
The charities can pick up their checks for the 75% this Friday from the Institute, and we invite them to come to the shelter.  We will then give them a check for the 25% they gave to us.





Georgia Theatre Company Announces the 10th Annual Cinema for a Cause (formerly “Film & Food for a Cause”) charity event to raise money for local charity groups in their local communities

St. Simons Island, GA., August 28, 2013Georgia Theatre Company is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Cinema for a Cause (formerly “Film & Food for a Cause”) event to be held on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at all thirty-two of their theatre locations throughout Georgia and including three locations participating for the first time this year in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia.


Customers are encouraged to come to the movies on Sunday, September 22, since 100% of all admission tickets, concession purchases, and extra donation bowl money will be donated to local charity groups chosen by each theatre staff in their markets.


Participating theatre(s) in the Danville, VA area include Danville Stadium Cinemas. The recipient charity group for this market this year is the Danville Area Humane Society (this group to receive all proceeds on event day).


Local restaurants and area retailers are invited to participate by giving out coupons or other promotional items on event day at the theatre locations; interested parties should contact Ms. Ansley Scoville, Advertising & Promotions Manager, Georgia Theatre Company, for details.


Last year’s event raised over $166,900 and to date this unique event has allowed Georgia Theatre Company to donate over $637,400 to local charity groups over the past nine years.


Advance tickets (regular pricing for all movies) for the event will be available at participating theatre locations beginning at 6pm on Tuesday, September 17 through event day, Sunday, September 22.


About Georgia Theatre Company

Georgia Theatre Company is a fourth-generation, family-owned business specializing in movie theater exhibition. The company, headquartered on St. Simons Island, Ga., is one of the 20 largest theater circuits in the United States. Georgia Theatre Company operates 326 auditoriums at 32 locations in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia.

Pit Bull With Severe Neck Wound News Release

For Immediate Release

August 29, 2013

Contact:  Paulette Dean

(434) 799-5306

            Cruelty and neglect charges have been filed against the owner of a dog that was seized on Wednesday, August 28, 2013.   The Danville Area Humane Society has petitioned the General District Court for a custody hearing on Wednesday, September 11, at 2:30 p.m.

According to the police report, Officer McBride responded to an address for an animal welfare check.  A white, female pit bull was chained to the ground with less than a foot of chain, and that prevented the dog from walking, moving, or moving her head.  The chain was embedded in the neck, causing a severe injury. Flies and maggots covered the wound.  The dog was underweight, and had wounds on her legs and body.

The dog was taken to a local veterinary clinic, where she remains for treatment.  Her neck wound is so severe that a surgical procedure is necessary.

Cruelty to animals in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by fines of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of 12 months, either or both.

Tootsie & the V.E.T. Fund

We are very pleased that The Community Foundation of the Dan River Region V.E.T. Fund enabled Tootsie, a cat that survived a house fire, to receive veterinary treatment so he could be returned to his owners.

A house fire that was caused by unattended cooking on Wednesday, August 21st, killed one cat.  Tootsie was non-responsive, but firefighters used the pet oxygen mask donated to them by the Danville Area Humane Society to resuscitate him.  Shelter staff members were called to assist, and Tootsie was transported to Animal Medical Center on Riverside Drive.

Tootsie was in grave condition, but was revived.  He was picked up by his owners at the shelter on Friday, August 23rd.  Medicine was also provided for him, since there is an on-going risk of effects on the respiratory system.

Companion Animals + Streets =

Proof positive, and a picture is worth a thousand words: Companion animals do not fare well on the streets.  This poor little dog was captured by Danville police officers today.  Thank  you, officers!




For Immediate Release

July 9, 2013

Contact:  Paulette Dean

(434) 799-5306

            This has been an intense spring and summer for open-access animal shelters, including Danville’s.  Cats especially are being received in large numbers.  From January 1-June 30th, we have received approximately 1,200 cats.


Cats are wonderful companions, and we desire to help you find your perfect feline companion!

On Saturday, July 13th from 12:00-3:30 p.m., we are having an adoption event at the shelter.  Approved adoption questionnaires for cats that are completed during that time will have a reduced adoption fee of $45.  The fee will still include the cost of the spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccination, and feline leukemia test.  All cats have been given their first set of vaccinations and have been de-wormed.  Regular adoption guidelines will apply.


Although the reduced fee is for cats only, we also have many wonderful dogs that we hope people will come to visit and adopt.  The dog adoption fee is $85, and includes the cost of the spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccination, brief veterinary exam, and heartworm test.  The dogs have also received their first set of vaccinations and have been de-wormed.


During that time, we will also have a rabies shot and microchip clinic.  Dr. Sam Jones of Animal Medical Center will be in attendance to give $5 rabies vaccinations.  Microchips will cost $40.


For Immediate Release

July 1, 2013

            It is with great sadness and concern that the Danville Area Humane Society must offer a reward in another kitten abandonment case.  On Sunday, June 30th, a man dumping trash at a dumpster on Dry Fork Road heard sounds coming from a box that was taped.  When he opened the box, he found three kittens that are approximately six weeks old.

We are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the abandonment of the animals.

Paulette Dean, director, said, “We are horrified that this is happening with such frequency.  We do not understand how people can think that this is acceptable.  We completely understand that people, as a general rule, do not like the idea of animals being euthanized, and we work very hard to reduce the need for euthanasia in this area.  However, no rational, compassionate person can believe that a slow death in a taped box in a dumpster is a better alternative.”

Lynn Shelton, board president, said, “The number of the cruelty, neglect, and abandonment cases takes a heavy emotional toll on shelter employees.  We ask that the public keep an eye out for abandoned animals.”

The kittens were hungry, thirsty, weak, and dehydrated.  They will be available for adoption in six days, provided they survive the neglect.  Employees are carefully monitoring their condition.

Abandonment of animals is illegal and cruel.  We urge anyone with information about this, or any other case of abandonment to call us at 799-0843.  Callers may remain anonymous.  Rewards offered do not come from taxpayer funds, but from donations.