I was most amazed to see the Catawba County-run facility on Government Services Drive in Newton. In some ways, it looks more like a big veterinary practice than an animal shelter. It’s clean and fairly new, having been constructed in 2014. There are several workers, including a contracted veterinarian and an on-staff veterinary technician, all of whom dress in comfortable uniforms. All the animals that live at Animal Services receive medical care: vaccinations, spaying or neutering, medicine and treatment for illnesses and injuries, and so on.
Jenna and Mark shared Animal Services’ list of functions, and it’s way more than animal control. There are adoptions. The agency works with foster families, so animals that aren’t ready for adoption — maybe too young or recuperating from injuries or illnesses — have nurturing environments in which to live until they’re adoption ready. “We need more of these families,” Jenna pointed out. Foster families receive information on how to care for the pets, some food, litter for cats, free medicine, and free medical care at Animal Services.
Next, there’s intake. “If someone has an animal they no longer can keep, or if they find lost or stray animals, they can bring them to us, and we’ll provide them any medical care they need and then find them their forever home,” Mark said.
There are a few “forever home” possibilities. One, of course, is when someone or a family adopts an animal. Jenna and Mark said interested people can come in without appointments Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a cost, which is based on a fee schedule; however, the new pet owner gets a best friend that’s already been spayed or neutered, is microchipped, and has received vaccinations and medical care. Jenna said potential animal parents can check out available four-legged pals online at adoptapet.com and petfinder.com or by coming to Animal Services. “All of our cat and kitten adoptions are $25 for the remainder of [June],” Jenna added.