BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Commissioners approved funds for LUV 4 Animals on Thursday morning to complement project initiatives. LUV 4 Animals has been a 501c3 tax-exempt public charity since 2016. The organization assists the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility by helping to facilitate the adoption of shelter animals by raising funds for their sterilization before they leave facility, as well as emergency medical treatment. . They also welcome animals, network and transport animals to out-of-state rescues and vet appointments.
LUV 4 Animals also helps reduce overcrowding of pets in the community, as they find sterilization and sterilization options at low cost, according to Robin Keough, who came to speak with the commissioners on behalf of the organization Thursday morning. They also help pay veterinary bills for emergencies, both in the facility and in the community. Keough asked the county commissioners for $ 3,000 to help them in their efforts.
Keough herself has raised several sick puppies and dogs in need that she says “ended up in the pound.” Surgeries in 2020 included the amputation of a dog’s limb, several x-rays and several purchases of antibiotics for ear, eye and skin infections. In 2020, they paid for the spaying and neutering of 34 shelter dogs and 56 cats. Most of these animals were transported and housed by LUV 4 Animals volunteers, and each was placed in a home, according to Keough.
Until July 2021, the group spent $ 13,000 on veterinarians in the region. In August alone, they spent $ 2,600, mainly for the sterilization and sterilization of animals at the L-UAC shelter. Due to the high volume at local vets, LUV 4 Animals also donated $ 3,500 this year to out-of-state rescues to help cover verification costs once L-UAC animals are there. were transported, Keough reported.
Already this year, 89 cats have been sterilized. Tina Phillips, a volunteer with LUV 4 Animals, has become the Cats Person and works with several low-cost spay / neuter clinics, according to Keough. L-UAC dramatically reduced its rate of euthanasia, and added: “I think Jan Cochran [L-UAC Director] would confirm that this is due to our efforts to sterilize and neuter animals prior to adoption. People want to adopt a healthy controlled animal.
In previous years, the euthanasia rate for cats was close to 90%, Keough reported; however, last year it had fallen to 30%. Impressively, no healthy adoptable dog has been euthanized for lack of space in the past year. Although Keough explains that they still have a long way to go, she hopes those numbers will be even better next year.
LUV 4 Animals takes most of the animals to a veterinarian in Elkins who offers them a “very generous discount”. This vet would charge around $ 125, depending on other factors, but that cost includes an electronic collar, rabies vaccine, and pain management. This price is significantly cheaper than vets in areas such as Baltimore and Pennsylvania, where most of these animals are transported for rescue. Keough explained that when checking prices in these areas, most vets were quoting between $ 500 and $ 700, which doesn’t include anything other than spaying and neutering. Keough also noted that of the three dogs she took to the vet this week, all have tested positive for Lymes disease, the prevalence of which is increasing in this area.
LUV 4 Animals had two dogs neutered this month, but they have appointments for 18 more in September, October and November in Elkins. The organization is running out of funds and cannot make these appointments if it does not receive help, Keough said. She noted that they are and have been unable to host several of their typical fundraisers due to COVID, which has contributed significantly to their low funds. The $ 3,000 requested from the county commissioners would be used to cover the costs of sterilization and sterilization.
Commissioner Kristie Tenney thanked Keough for all of her time and effort in this organization. Keough responded, “We have a lot of support in the community which really helps us a lot financially. But we don’t want to bleed them dry. This is the first time that LUV 4 Animals has contacted County Commissioners to request funding. Commissioner Sam Nolte added: “You have all been a great help with the pound. It takes a lot of pressure off them. “
After a short discussion, the commissioners approved the $ 3,000, which will be spent on the sterilization and sterilization of the animals in the shelter. Keough said, “We just act in faith, that if we put the money in, they’ll be adopted.”
LUV 4 Animals will be hosting two adoption events on Saturday, September 11 at Buckhannon and Weston Tractor Supply Company stores from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. new furry house!
In addition, the commissioners visited Buckhannon-Upshur High School for a property inspection regarding the amphitheater renovation project proposed by the Youth Environmental Club. YEC President Ty Landis visited the Commissioners in July to seek their support. Although the item remained on the table during Thursday’s meeting, following the property inspection, county commissioners said they would make a decision in the near future on the project.