Local animals looking to find forever friends
Over 90 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents are waiting for the day they can go to their “forever” home.
Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter, located at 600 Curtis Street in Mason, adopts animals out every day, only to replace them with more potential pets.
Frannie, an 8-year-old Pitbull/Terrier, has been waiting the longest for a home, since November of 2014.
She shyly wags her tail as dozens of people walk past her every day, just waiting for the right person for whom to live out her life.
Ashley Hayes, volunteer coordinator of two years, said it was because of her own dog, Sammy, she started volunteering at ICAC. Sammy was in a similar situation when Hayes gave him a home.
“When we adopted him all the volunteers swarmed on us like crazy people,” Hayes said. “There was a line of people waiting to hug us and thank us for adopting him because he was at ICAC so long. It made me want to be a part of that, so I started volunteering.”
Hayes used to work in apartment sales, but because of Sammy she found a new passion.
“Pets change lives in so many ways, but Sammy literally changed my whole career path and goals,” Hayes said. “I really feel like I am making a difference now. When I look at my day I think, ‘How many lives did I save?’”
According to Hayes summer is the hardest time for the shelter because the most animals come in during that time.
“I would encourage people to adopt from a shelter because you are giving pets a second chance and you are saving a life,” Hayes said.
Hayes also encouraged people to consider fostering an animal.
“Fostering is a great way to find out if you’re really ready for the responsibility of a pet,” Hayes said. “Fostering allows you to have the companionship of an animal but not have the commitment for 10 to 20 years.”
For Hayes the job can be difficult, but it usually pays off.
“The hardest part of my job is when we get in animals that are really sick or injured,” Hayes said. “One of our officers found a dog with a chain dragging from its neck. It’s really hard to see but it makes you work harder.”
Kelsey Maccombs-Howard has been volunteering at ICAC since October 2013.
“To date, we’ve fostered six dogs from ICAC and only kept one.” Hoard said. “Each one has been so amazing to see transform. They come from the shelter scared or wild and they really show their true colors once they’re home with us.”
Howard said people should adopt from shelters.
“Every day healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized because they’re seen as used or dangerous,” Howard said. “Come spend a day with me at ICACS and you’ll never feel more loved.”
Howard said volunteering can be hard, but seeing animals get adopted makes it worth it.
“It destroys me sometimes,” Howard said. “I have come home defeated more times than I can count, but the only ones who suffer from me not being there are the animals.
“Being part of the adoption and making a difference is why I do it.”
For people interested in volunteering and for upcoming adoption events head to http://ac.ingham.org/Home.aspx