West Orange animal shelter at full capacity; seeking volunteers and donations

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

WEST ORANGE — The animal shelter that serves West Orange is in desperate need of adoptions, donations and volunteers.

The shelter is built to house 10 dogs, but the influx of animals has not slowed. An animal shelter is a non-profit, public or private, that houses and rehabilitates domestic animals for as long as the shelter can hold them.

However, unless the dogs are adopted or released to surrounding dog-recues, the dogs get euthanized.

“Our goal is to have all of our dogs and cats adopted,” said Chuck Davis, animal control officer.

Shelter officials do not put down tame animals if there is room to board them.

“We have only put down six dogs in the last two years,” Davis said. “The dogs that were euthanized were too aggressive to place back into society.”

Chuck Davis walks the corridor at the City of West Orange animal shelter. (Sierra Kondos/Special to The Leader)

Debbie Schlicher, an Orange County resident, leads the shelter’s volunteer program.

“She has been a volunteer for a year now,” Davis said. “She administers the West Orange Animal Shelter Facebook page, organizes the dog walking program, works with dog rescues and the foster program.”

Schlicher accommodates those who can’t make it to the shelter before closing time on weekdays by having meet-and-greets on weekends.

“I tell people if they are interested in adopting a dog to send me their email address and I will send them an application,” she said. “I work very hard not to have any animals put down, but when we cannot get dogs out, then we must make the hard decision to do so. In the last two years, we have only put down six dogs and that was because they were too aggressive to adopt out or they were in very ill health.”

The application process to foster an animal is online or available on location.

“The process is easy,” Davis said. “We do go over the responsibilities of fostering an animal, possible complications of introducing a foster to their pets and answer any questions they may have to keep all involved safe and happy.”

The dog walking program schedule can be found on the Facebook page.

The shelter is built to house 10 dogs, and officials do everything they can to avoid animal euthanizations. (Sierra Kondos/Special to The Leader)

“The goal of the program is to get the dogs out of the cages a few times a week,” Davis said. “We want them to get exercise, socialize and mentally ready to go to a new home.”

Donations can be made at surrounding vet clinics or at West Orange City Hall.

“If people want to donate money, we encourage them to bring it to North Orange Animal Hospital and Foskey Veterinary Clinic. For other items like blankets, leashes, collars and dog food, that can be brought to the City Hall during business hours,” Davis said.

Adopting a pet from a shelter saves more than just one life. By adopting, you create space in the shelter, which gives the location more options to rescue animals. And if you cannot afford a pet, volunteering time to walk dogs alleviates stress and keeps them socialized.

The West Orange Animal Shelter is located at 2700 Austin St. West Orange.

For more information visit cityofwestorange.com/departments/animal-shelter or call 409-883-3468.

— Written by By Sierra Kondos