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La Porte Animal Shelter gives hope

The La Porte County Small Animal Shelter does much more than just shelter dogs. It takes care of the animals as if they were its own. Its workers also put a great deal of pride and joy into their jobs, and it all would not be possible with the help of the community as well.

The La Porte County Small Animal Shelter is always looking for volunteers. Having more volunteers means the animals get to spend more time outside playing. Volunteering at the animal shelter allows people to feel good about themselves by helping out animals that do not have homes.

On a daily routine, staff arrives at 7:30 a.m. They technically do not start till 8 am, but their staff is eager to begin. They start their day by putting all the dogs outside. Then cages are scrubbed with disinfectant cleaner. During this time, the animals get fresh food and water, new bedding, toys, and treats.The cats they are moved to new cages as well. Everything is cleaned by 10 a.m. so they can open to the public.

Once the shelter opens, it starts fielding calls about going out and picking up animals. Throughout the day, staff is waiting on the public, bathing animals, and getting them ready for adoptions. Wednesdays and Thursdays are surgery days. They have a veterinarian come in and the shelter animals are spayed and neutered.

“On those days it is a bit hectic because we have things going on everywhere,” Jane Bernard, the owner, said.

The available animals at The La Porte County Small Animal Shelter are advertised on their Facebook page: La Porte County Small Animal Shelter. They also have a few other sites that their animals are on, which includes the county website, Petfinder, and about six to seven rescue sites. Once they get an animal that is available for adoption they have a professional photographer that comes in and takes pictures of the animals.

The shelter keeps animals as long as it takes for them to be adopted. The only time they euthanize an animal is when they have no choice.

“If an animal is injured to the point where the veterinarian can’t fix them up then we do unfortunately euthanize them. We would not let any animal suffer here. Or another time we would euthanize is if the animal is aggressive to the point where we would be putting the public in danger,” Bernard said.

The more volunteers who come in, the more the animals get to go outside and play. They are outside at least two to three times a day, depending on how many people come out to volunteer. The volunteer program has grown over the last year. They now do an orientation each month for people that want to come out and volunteer. The next orientation is on September 12th.

“In the last year, we have really focused on the volunteer. Prior to that, they have always had volunteers, but it was not as big as it is now. We have a gal that comes in everyday on her lunch break to take animals out and walk them,” Bernard said.

The animal shelter does accept donations. They have a wishlist that people can ask for if they are interested in making a donation.

“We have kids donate gifts to the animals on their birthdays instead of receiving gifts for themselves,” Bernard said.

There is still a misconception out there that the animal shelter is a bad place, but it is not.

“I would invite anyone here on any given day, and you can see how well the animals are cared for. It is not their fault why they are here,” Bernard said.  

One thing the shelter would like the public to know is that it is not their fault why they exist. They are there because they want to take care of the shelter animals.

The La Porte County Animal Shelter encourages others to visit the next time they are looking to add a pet to their family.

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