BLUEFIELD — Maggie had a rough time. She’s sweet and laid back, but another dog at her previous home didn’t like her. With nicks still visible on her face, she sat in a Mercer County Animal Shelter kennel and wondered about her fate.
Then Maggie’s day turned into an adventure when she became the Bluefield Daily Telegraph’s news hound last Friday. She immediately demonstrated her sweet nature by riding in the backseat of a reporter’s car and despite some shyness, quickly making friends in the newsroom.
The animal shelter reopened May 19 after being closed as a precaution during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and the public is returning to see the dogs and cats that need homes. A spay/neuter voucher program that helps owners get their dogs and cats this veterinarian service started on June 1; it’s a free service, according to Director Stacey Harmon.
When the shelter’s personnel was asked about taking a dog back to the Daily Telegraph, Maggie was the first choice. She has a gentle disposition, is about 3 years old – possibly as young as 1 or 2 – and good around people even if being with other dogs could be a problem. After some gentle coaxing, she got into a car and soon found herself at the newspaper.
Harmon said the shelter has been very busy since it reopened. As of Friday, the animal shelter was housing 17 cats and about 35 dogs.
“I’m trying to have a managed intake so we don’t get filled up fast and get overwhelmed,” she said.
People who adopt dogs or cats are required to bring them back to the shelter if the animals prove to be incompatible, but they can transfer the pet to somebody else.
“They can do a transfer of ownership,” Harmon stated. “They can come and fill out a paper so we know who owns the dog.”
Spring and summer are usually puppy and kitten season, but the shelter has not seen a lot of new litters this year.
“We don’t have puppies. We’ve had a couple of litters,” she said. “Even with it being puppy and kitten season, we’re not seeing a lot of litters, which is great.”
The fact the shelter is not overwhelmed with homeless pets means the personnel doesn’t have to make difficult decisions.
“When you get overcrowded, that’s when you have to make decisions you don’t want to make,” Harmon said.
Everyone at the Telegraph enjoyed Maggie’s visit, but the idea of taking her back to the shelter was more than a little difficult; nobody could take her home. A return to the shelter was avoided when Maggie went home for the weekend with a copy editor. The hope now is to find her a permanent and loving home. She is available for adoption from the Mercer County Animal Shelter, located on Shelter Rd. in Princeton. Call the shelter at 304-425-2838 to find her and many other fur friends ready for new homes.
Contact Greg Jordan at email@example.com