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CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - The Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga
says it's facing a lack of active volunteers and a trend of more dogs coming through it's doors with heart works.
Workers at the humane society say they desperately need more volunteers
, especially people who can simply walk dogs.
"They need to get out. They need that human contact. It is so important; otherwise we end up loosing them in the shelter here," said shelter volunteer Kathy Mindel.
According to volunteer director Jeanine Cloyd, More than 100 people are signed up as volunteers but only about 50 are active on a weekly basis. Out of that number, close to 30 actually walk the dogs so there's a good chance there will be days when not every canine takes a leisurely stroll on a leash.
"Whatever time you have to give is the time that we will take and the dogs can get a little attention from you," said Mindel.
The facility will take just about anyone who is willing to donate time but it's still difficult to get enough people to sign up and remain active.
"Volunteering is always a challenge because people do it for free. It's not their job. They don't have to go if they don't want to," said Cloyd.
Another problem the humane society is facing right now is more surrendered dogs coming in with heart worms. The wet summer has provided a breeding ground for mosquitoes which transmit heart worms into dogs that are not on a monthly preventative.
"When we first started this, we had 29 animals with heart worms. They continue to come in as heart worm positive and so this program will be an ongoing program," said Cloyd who was referring to a program called Save a Heart
The Humane society is paying for heart worm treatments in every surrendered heart worm-positive dog that comes through the door. That's the good news. The bad news is the expense. Treatment for heart worms can cost up to $900 in some cases.
So in addition to needing more volunteers, the facility also needs extra money to keep funding the Sive a Heart program.
"We're asking the public to donate money towards that to help us treat all of our heart worm positive dogs."
The Humane Society says if anyone is willing to foster or adopt one of their heart worm-positive dogs
, the facility will make sure the new owners will not get stuck with the financial burden of paying for the treatment. The treatment would be conducted and payed for through the shelter.
On September 13 - 15th the Humane Society will join other animal agencies in the area to host the "Fall in Love Adopt-A-Thon."
The event will be held at the Petsmart location at 2130 Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga. Adoption fees are $75 for puppies, $50 for dogs, and $25 for cats and kittens.
The goal is to adopt 200 animals.