County animal shelter gets a spring makeover

Volunteers swarmed the Shelby County Humane Society March 4-5 as they gave the facility its first spring cleaning in several years.

About 35 volunteers from the Humane Society, the county and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals worked to scrub, sanitize and rearrange the shelter in preparation for the Humane Society’s busiest time of the year.

“It’s just going to help us make better use of our space here,” said Jennifer Russo, the shelter’s director of development. “This is just a good way to deep clean the shelter. It probably hasn’t been deep cleaned like this in years.”

The cleaning was part of the shelter’s participation in the ASPCA’s Mission Orange program. The Shelby County Humane Society was one of two shelters named as part of the program last year.

Through the Mission Orange program, the ASPCA works to reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters across the country.

While cleaning the shelter, volunteers rearranged the facility’s indoor cat and dog cages, painted, moved the sick cat room away from the indoor dog holding area, degreased and sanitized all indoor and outdoor cages and completed several other projects.

“We wanted to clean everything now while our numbers are down,” Russo said. “We usually get a bunch more animals in the spring.

“The ASPCA gave us suggestions on how we can better use our space, so we rearranged a bunch of things, too,” she added. “This will help us run a healthier, more efficient shelter.”

The cleaning will also help the shelter prepare for its March 27 open house, which will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Humane Society.

During the open house, shelter employees and volunteers will provide tours of the facility, give out information about Mission Orange, hold pet adoptions and provide free pet nail trimming.

The open house will also feature a low-cost vaccine and microchip clinic from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., children’s events, music and snacks and an animal control officer information booth.