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Animal Welfare Society events on tap

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011

This month the Animal Welfare Society of Jefferson County, one of the few no-kill animal shelters in the area, will be hosting many events and fundraisers to raise money as well as awareness for the shelter and the animals.

The AWSJC is kept up entirely by donations and the work of local volunteers, which is why now more than ever it is crucial to get more funding, said Anne Marie Kohlhepp, one of the shelter’s volunteers and long-time foster parent for animals.

All proceeds will go towards general funding of the shelter, which includes everything from food to medical expenses for the animals as well as also funding the renovation and expansion of the shelter.

The AWSJC currently has a limited number of animals which it can take in due to space limitations, which is why volunteers are trying to raise money in an effort to continue the expansion of the shelter that they have been working on little by little in the past few years.

“We hopefully will be able to create more outdoor runs for all of the dogs, especially the smaller ones which don’t have much exercise room as of now,” said Jane Tarner, who became involved with the shelter in 1989 when she adopted her first cat, Lucky, and has been a volunteer and board member ever since.

Space issues are one of the shelter’s biggest challenges and part of the reason they are working so hard to expand is so they can prevent homeless animals from potentially having to go to a kill shelter, said Lisa Kirkland who works at the shelter.

“We pride ourselves on making sure that when an animal gets adopted they are going to a ‘forever home’,” Tarner said.

Animals and potential adoptive “parents” go through a multiple step process which includes an adoption request form and interview, as well as a house visit and a meet-and-greet with any other animals the new possible owners already have. This can be a somewhat costly and very time consuming process, which is yet another reason why the shelter is always looking for said

“We want to ensure that when an animal leaves our shelter they will be going to a permanent and loving home and won’t end up in the same situation they started out in,” Kohlhepp said.

To make a donation, volunteer your services or for more information about the AWSJC and their fundraisers visit their website at www.awsjc.org.