Local animal shelters receive awards

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Two Triad county animal shelters will be honored Wednesday in Raleigh with the “Shelters We Love” awards. 


The Human Society of the United States and North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare will present Davidson County Animal Shelter and Randolph County Animal Shelter with the “Shelters We Love” awards for their work to improve the lives of animals. 


In the past year both shelters have seen adoption rates increase thanks to more volunteers and the use of social media. 


“Right now we are having a hard time keeping up with the actual paperwork because so many people are coming in now,” said Randolph County Shelter Director Leigh Casaus, who said, adoptions are up 10 percent in the past year.


“If someone is seriously interested in one of our animals and they call us up and they say — ‘can you meet me Sunday after church?’ — we’ll meet you Sunday after church,” said Casaus. 


“We need to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem,” said Donna Grooms, member of the Friends of the Davidson County Animal Shelter. 


The shelter and Davidson County leaders came under fire last summer when county commissioners voted to continue using the gas chamber, despite calls by animal groups to end the practice.  


Since the attention more people like Grooms has stepped forward to help the shelter.  “I’m in a much better place this year than I was last year. I’m so proud to say I’m a friend of the shelter,” said  Grooms.


Grooms volunteers at the shelter and helps post pictures of the adoptable animals on Facebook.  In the past year Grooms said adoption rates have doubled at the shelter.


Shelter advocates say despite the increase in adoptions, the number of animals euthanized each year is still high.  On average in North Carolina, only about 10% of shelter animals get adopted. 


Records from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture show Triad shelters put down more than 45,000 dogs and cats in 2010, the latest numbers available. That averages to one animal every 12 minutes. 


Statewide, nearly 250,000 animals were euthanized at shelters in 2010.  Animal advocates say everyone can help lower those numbers by considering adopting from shelters and having their pets spayed or neutered.

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