I am the vice president of the Federation of Humane Organizations of West Virginia (FOHO WV). We are a West Virginia state organization for the purpose of improving animal welfare throughout West Virginia.
As a citizen of Randolph County, I am writing concerning the misinformation in an article which appeared in The Inter-Mountain on a lawsuit against the local humane society for sending a dog to rescue, thus saving its life. Humane societies and animal advocacy and rescue groups throughout West Virginia save thousands of animals from certain death in West Virginia shelters by using rescues. They are not in the business of "selling" animals as the lawsuit alleges. We estimate, based on shelter surveys, that over 65,000 animals die yearly in West Virginia shelters. This number would soar without rescues. Sixty-seven percent of West Virginians own companion animals. We encourage pet owners to spay/neuter their animals so we can reduce these shelter numbers.
West Virginia State Animal Code requires that animals remain in the West Virginia facility for five days only. After that time, the animal may be euthanized or adopted out. Citizens of Randolph County should be proud that the Randolph County Humane Society works tirelessly to save so many animals and taxpayer dollars by using rescues.
Randolph County and Taylor County have some of the lowest euthanasia rates in West Virginia due to their rescue effort. Rescue Waggin from Petsmart Charities has saved thousands of dogs from both Taylor and Randolph in the last few years. Rescue Waggin checks out sending and receiving shelters that adhere to strict standards to get into their rescue program. The animals have to be altered and given required vaccinations. These animals go into areas where there are long established spay/neuter programs and strict code on having your animal altered.
There are not enough West Virginia homes for these animals and adoptable animals would die needlessly without these rescues. The rescues charge for the spaying or neutering of the pet being adopted and the medical care given prior to adoption.
There are other very reputable rescues working within West Virginia and those volunteers who give up their weekends to save these animals need a reward, not a black eye for their effort. Our state group works with all 55 counties so we are aware of the difference rescues make in saving the lives of these animals that would otherwise be put to sleep. The citizens of Randolph County needed to be informed on the real facts of rescues and of the success of the Randolph County Humane Society.