CHESTERFIELD —Hundreds of unwanted animals arrive each week at the Paws and Claws Humane Society Animal Shelter in Chesterfield. Some are dropped off by folks who no longer want a pet or can no longer take care of their cat or dog. Most are strays that are picked up by Animal Control.
Few, a very few, will leave the shelter alive.
During a four-hour time span on Saturday, the Paws & Claws took in 23 animals.
“Any one of these animals can be adopted with just little paperwork and effort,” said Adoption Administrator and volunteer Karen Stangel.
On a weekly basis, the shelter picks up around 400 or more unwanted animals, which includes cats, kittens, puppies and adult dogs. The shelter can house up to 70 animals comfortably. It distributes at least 200 pounds or more of food daily.
“Most of the animals are sickly when they come into the shelter,” said Spangel. “This is due to whoever had the animal before did not take care of it. When we get them, they are already unhealthy, but we try to remedy that by doing what we can to get them back on track.”
Stangel, Shirley Brock, Annanelle Freeman are just a few of the volunteers who devote their time on weekends to help with the adoptions at the shelter.
Paws & Claws Director Jerry Gaskins and shelter volunteers hope to get these animals adopted as soon as possible. That won’t be easy, considering the shelter is only open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for adoptions.
“The process is simple,” said Stangel. “After choosing the animal that you want to adopt, you must fill out an adoption agreement form. It states that you have 30 days to spay or neuter the animal. The 30 days applies only to the adult animals.”
Stangel said that when adopting young animals, six months is allowed to have them spayed or neutered.
“People don’t realize the work that is involved in running an animal shelter,” Stangel said. “It takes money and lots of people who love animals. They have to have a passion to help them.”
The upkeep of the shelter is the responsibility of the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Department. The department is not responsible for adoptions
Sheriff Sam Parker says there are no current plans to increase the hours for adoptions.
“We are doing the best we can with what we have and will continue to do try to make it better than what it is,” said Parker.
“We work well with the Sheriff’s office and with Animal Control and we know that there has to be policies and procedures to follow,” said Spangel. “If the Sheriff’s Office can utilize the jail inmates and supervise them to help out more, that would make a difference.”
Spangel added that on top of her volunteer work at the shelter, she also has 19 dogs and four bottle-fed kittens at her own house that she has taken under her wing due to lack of space at the shelter.
Adopting a friend
Paws and Claws is a first come/first serve adoption facility. If you desire to adopt during the weekdays, call 843-378-0016 to make an appointment. General adoption hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the shelter, located on Glendale/Edwards Road in Chesterfield.
The adoption fee is normally $20. Most of the highly desirable type pets will have an increase in the adoption fee.
All animals adopted from the shelter are required by S.C. law to be spayed or neutered. The shelter offers a free spay for adult female dogs and cats adopted from the shelter through some of the local area vets. For any out of area adoptions, spay procedures will be discussed.
Paws and Claws will accept donations such as blankets, dog and cat food, self-feeders, cleaning supplies and other items.
Visit Paws & Claws online at www.petfinder.com/shelters/SC94.html.