“I could never see myself not rescuing and helping animals,” says Janetta Smith, new Director of the Muhlenberg County Humane Society. She adds that even before she became involved with the shelter, she spent her time rescuing neighborhood pets. “I’ve always had a passion for animals.”
Smith volunteered at the shelter for seven years before she got a job working on-call. That turned into her working in the office on staff last year. After former Director Joe Roney retired this summer, Smith was an obvious choice to take on the role of Director. “Janetta is an excellent communicator and a very honest person, which is something you need here,” says Roney.
“This isn’t for the average person,” Smith says. “You don’t clock out. You’re always thinking about the animals.” She shares that she wants to maintain a good relationship with the community while also changing negative stigmas surrounding the Humane Society.
The shelter could always use donated supplies or money to purchase needed items such as kennels to transport animals. Helping to plan or work fundraisers is helpful as well. “If not for donations, we couldn’t do what we do. We don’t have enough hours in the day—we rely on volunteers,” Smith adds.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the socialization of the cats and kittens and to walk the canine residents. Fostering is another way volunteers can help. Kittens under eight weeks old are especially susceptible to sickness and fostering helps increase their chance of reaching adulthood. Currently, a heartworm positive dog is looking for a foster family and a quiet environment to rest and heal. Volunteers that transport animals to rescues also make a huge difference. Smith says, “We average 80-100 animals coming in our doors every month. Thank God for rescues. About 40-50 animals went to rescues last month.”
Large dogs are currently $100 to adopt and small dogs are $125. That fee includes the animal’s spay/neuter, heartworm test, microchip, dewormer, and vaccines. When dogs enter the shelter, they also undergo a behavior test to ensure they do well around other dogs, cats, and small children. Cats are $60 and included is their spay/neuter and necessary vaccines. Smith stressed that the shelter has all kinds of adoptable animals and there are a mix of breeds and colors. “Black animals also have good hearts, but they often get overlooked.”
The shelter is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Humane Society also has an active Facebook page where those interested can find out about upcoming fundraisers and view adoptable pets.