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Fri., Oct. 9
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Jefferson County Dog Shelter is full, encourages adoption


The hotel is full at Jefferson County Dog Control.

Jam-packed with more than 30 dogs, the agency’s shelter, at 21897 County Route 190, has no more room to house them. While some are expected to go home, and others might be put up for adoption, just over 20 dogs now are looking for new homes.

“We’ve only adopted five dogs this month,” said Todd L. Cummings, Jefferson County’s dog control office supervisor. “Adoptions seem low for some reason. This just started over the last month. We were running very well with 15 or 16 dogs.”

While July was a typical month, where the office picked up about 30 dogs, August kept dog control staff busy picking up 50 dogs.

“It’s probably the same dogs getting picked up, but less people to retrieve them,” Mr. Cummings said.

Skipper, a 5-year-old male terrier, and Onyx, a 4-month-old black Labrador mix, are two of the many dogs up for adoption. Mr. Cummings said dogs have been in the shelter for as little as a few days to as long as a couple of months.

Some dogs are featured on the shelter’s Facebook page, while most are advertised on Petfinder. Certain breeds will attract potential owners from throughout the north country and the state and even from Canada, Mr. Cummings said.

During the shelter’s open house last year, half of the adoptable dogs were pit bulls, and all of them were adopted at the event or shortly thereafter. Mr. Cummings said a wide variety of breeds comes through the agency.

The smallest of dogs typically are picked up first, and although people seek puppies, the shelter rarely has any young ones, he said.

Last year, 562 dogs were picked up; 260 were redeemed by owners and 247 were adopted. The remaining 55 were either killed when hit by a motor vehicle, euthanized or held at the shelter for various reasons.

So far this year, 171 dogs have been redeemed, 11 euthanized, 125 adopted and 13 killed in motor vehicle accidents.

Aside from picking up strays, Jefferson County Dog Control has been busy participating in the local rabies program, where the agency investigates all dog bites in Jefferson County; enumeration, where people go door to door to encourage licensing, and staff response to trouble calls. A new initiative is the Animal Response Team, which is designed to prepare volunteers on how to respond to emergency situations involving animals.

For more information on the shelter, including adoption fees and requirements, call the agency at 782-9179.

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