(Bowling Green)—The Wood County Humane Society (WCHS) will host an open house event this weekend at its shelter, located on Van Camp Road in Bowling Green.
The open house event will be held on Sunday, May 3 from 12:30 until 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and all community members are invited to attend.
Food will be available and entertainment will be provided. Staff will be available for questions about the organization and attendees will be able to interact with some of the shelter animals. Attendees also will be able to tour the shelter.
In attendance throughout the day will be Nancy Schilb, Toledo area Humane Agent, who will be reading from her book and a representative from Talk Dog, who will be available to discuss dog training.
The WCHS open house corresponds with a special adoption event to be held at the shelter this weekend. The organization will celebrate National Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Day by holding a one-weekend-only special adoption event at its shelter. From Thursday, April 30 through Sunday, May 3, the organization will offer reduced adoption rates for many of its current residents. This weekend only, adoption fees for all dogs over six months of age will be reduced by 50 percent and all cat adoption fees will be reduced to $5.
At the end of the open house event, two winners will be chosen from among those who adopted that weekend as part of the Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet-Day adoption special. One cat adopter and one dog adopter will be selected at random to receive a gift basket.
Also on tap for the day is the dedication of a recently-installed feline exercise wheel at the shelter to two long-term volunteers, Joe Schroeder and Stephanie Ringler.
A plaque affixed to the exercise wheel will acknowledge Schroeder and Ringler, both of Weston, for over eight years of service as the co-organizers of the WCHS’s annual garage sale, held every May. Schroeder and Ringler assumed leadership of the annual garage sale fundraiser in 2007. That first year, the event raised just over $7000. Under their joint leadership, the garage sale has become one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers. Last year the event brought in over $14,000 in total sales.
The new addition to the WCHS’s Minibelle Conley shelter resembles an oversized hamster wheel. The cat wheel can accommodate up to two cats at a time and it meets two of the most important needs that all indoor cats have: physical activity and mental stimulation. The wheel allows shelter animals to play, interact, and exercise even when humans are not available to provide that stimulation. The wheel also can help mitigate some of the adverse effects of a sedentary life for older felines or felines who are housed in cramped shelter conditions.
The purchase of the feline wheel was made possible by last year’s garage sale, which far surpassed the co-organizers’ fundraising goal, and corresponds to an effort by shelter staff to provide more opportunities for behavioral enrichment. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), behavioral enrichment outlets are crucial for shelter animals, especially as the “face” of animal sheltering in American is changing.
The ASPCA has noted that “more humane organizations are holding animals for longer periods of time before they are placed. As this occurs, the welfare of shelter animals concerns more than just meeting basic needs. Long-term sheltering requires taking on a holistic approach.” To attend to long-term shelter animals’ unique needs, the ASPCA recommends, shelters should provide “outlets for their natural behaviors, social interaction, sensory stimulation and exercise, balanced with quiet time.”
The WCHS, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a full-service, no-kill shelter providing care for homeless and abused pets and investigating cruelty complaints in Wood County. In addition, the organization assists Wood County residents with its Safe Haven and food assistance programs, spay/neuter transport, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for hundreds of animals each year—from dogs and cats, to horses, goats, and pocket pets. The non-profit organization is funded predominantly through donations from local individuals and businesses, Community Shares of Northwest Ohio (a workplace giving campaign), and fundraisers. The Wood County Commissioners help fund a Humane Agent, but the organization receives no additional funding from national humane organizations, the United Way, or the government. For more information on adopting and/or volunteering, see: http://www.woodcountyhumanesociety.org.