A #8216;fur-ever#039; friend

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2006

Some are abandoned; others bear the marks of abuse and neglect. They are sometimes brought in by kind strangers who found them on the roadside or left on their doorstep, with a kit-and-caboodle of youngsters in distress at their side.

A few fortunate ones will be reclaimed by their families. We will never know from where some of the others came.

They are large and small, young and not so young; some are outgoing and boisterous, and others, very shy and quiet. There’s Rusty, and Red, Itsy and Precious, Tootie, Bonnie and Jill.

They all have one thing in common: they need a loving, permanent home.

They are the animals cared for by the staff and volunteers at the Greenville Animal Shelter and in foster homes by Butler County Humane Society volunteers.

There are some 22 puppies and adult dogs at the Commerce St. shelter up for adoption, &uot;and that’s not counting the animals being fostered out,&uot; Kristi Sexton, an employee of the Greenville Animal Shelter, says.

Meet the gang

Bonnie, a friendly two-year-old pit bull, stands at the gate of her shelter pen and wags her tail. &uot;She belonged to some people who lived nearby, but she kept coming down here to visit us all the time. So they finally turned her over to us,&uot; Sexton explains. &uot;I think she just likes being with the other dogs. She would make someone a good pet.&uot;

Itsy, a fuzzy little black terrier mix, romps with her mother. &uot;All her siblings got adopted out, so now it’s just Itsy and her mom,&uot; Sexton says as she cuddles the cute little two-month-old pup, who gazes up with a pair of heart-melting black eyes.

Coco, a one-year-old yellow terrier mix, cocks her head to one side and seems to smile at you through the fencing. An energetic pair of four-month-old female white-and-tan hound mixes scrabble for your attention, while two brindled Blue Heeler pups, one boy and one girl, also &uot;ask&uot; visitors to take another look.

And while it’s National Dog Day being celebrated this weekend, there are plenty of pint-sized felines who are in need of a good home, too.

&uot;All these belong to the mama cat except this one,&uot; Sexton says as she scoops up the lone, blue-eyed white kitten with faint Siamese markings. The little snowball is a standout among a bevy of grey-striped tabbies tumbling about in the shelter’s cat room.

Home at last

There are many success stories of animals that have been adopted from the shelter, and one in particular has become a much-loved fixture at the GAS.

Chichi, a silky buff-colored terrier with perky ears, arrived at the shelter as a stray just over two years ago. When no one claimed the little dog in the required seven days, the shelter workers decided to make the terrier their official mascot and gave her the run of the place.

&uot;She is spoiled rotten, as you can see,&uot; Animal Control Officer Arnold Boggan says with a laugh. He watches as the little dog makes herself at home on a chair by the door, prepared to meet and greet any new faces who might come in the door.

&uot;Chichi gets along with everybody – people, other dogs, cats,&uot; Sexton says.

Another shelter animal, Sissy, was adopted by Crowne Health Care Facility in Greenville as their official mascot and therapy dog. Sissy, a white terrier mix, has even ridden on the nursing home facility’s float in the city’s annual Christmas parade and been featured in newspaper ads for Crowne.

Billy Bob, a handsome orange and white cat who was surrendered to the shelter by his owners when they couldn’t take him with them on a move, now roams the halls of the nursing home.

Other former shelter/foster pets that have found homes can be seen on the site shared by the Greenville Animal Shelter and the humane society at www.petfinders.com and www.1-800-save-a-pet.com.

How to help

The cost of adopting a pet from the animal shelter includes a $20 adoption fee, plus a $40 spay and neuter certificate provided through the Butler County Humane Society. The costs include first shot, de-worming and a free vet check-up within two days of adoption.

&uot;As of July 1 of this year, state law requires that all animals are adopted from a shelter have to be spayed and neutered,&uot; Sexton explains. It’s a move designed to decrease the unwanted kittens and puppies born in the state .

The cost of adopting pets currently living in foster homes through the Butler County Humane Society varies. Pay a visit to the Petfinder Website listed above to see a list and photos of foster pets currently available for adoption.

Even those who are not in the market to adopt a dog or cat can help the cause.

&uot;We can use donations of flea spray, kitten food, bath cloths and towels,&uot; Sexton says.

Monetary donations are also always welcome.

And the Butler Count Humane Society can always use more members, in particular, active volunteers willing to foster pets in their homes or to help out at the shelter in caring for and socializing the animals.

&uot;We need new members, new blood, new ideas,&uot; Kandys Killough, a member of the BCHS, says. &uot;We really need the community’s help in continuing to care for its animals in need. And we always urge people to spay and neuter their pets.&uot;

E-mail greenvilleanimalshelter@yahoo.com or butlercountyhumanesociety@hotmail.com for further information, or contact the shelter at 382-7806.