How we can help

Published 8:38 am Monday, March 28, 2011

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society Shelter needs are many.

It is overcrowded, under-funded, over-whelmed and often unappreciated.

Pam Immendorf and Beth Eck, as well as the many volunteers and supporters who work at and with the shelter deserve tremendous credit and thanks for what they do to help the many animals who have been forsaken, forgotten, neglected or abused.

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An additional problem in these economic hard times are the many older pets being reluctantly given up by owners who can no longer afford to care for them.

The existing shelter is too small and inadequate to handle the many animals who arrive at its doors.

We need and deserve new, expanded facilities, more outdoor areas for exercise and more people willing to work and play with the dogs.

The shelter has two local persons who provide foster care to animals taken from the shelter. They socialize and train them to be placed in permanent homes; but there are limits to the number they can take.

Prison-based dog training programs are being used successfully in correctional facilities and juvenile justice centers all over the country, providing obedience training to rehabilitate dogs taken from animal shelters. Some are even trained to become assistance dogs.

While human inmates learn new skills, compassion and a sense of responsibility that comes from raising and training a dog, the dogs win by receiving individual attention, training and affection to help them become more adoptable.

The shelter wins by helping decrease the population in animal shelters.

It works in corrections facilities all over the country from Gig Harbor, Wash., to Gardner, Mass., and from Arizona to Virginia.

With a little encouragement it could work here too.