The Shelby County Animal Shelter (SCAS) has been under the management of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office since 2009 when the County Commissioners to ask the Sheriff’s Department to take over the shelter.
The small staff at the shelter includes a deputy, a dog warden, and two part time front desk employees.
The Sheriff’s deputy at the shelter is responsible for answering calls to pick up stray dogs in the county to re-home or find their owners. The deputy also responds to calls regarding humane concerns for animals in Shelby County including dogs, horses and livestock. Ohio law dictates that shelters are not required to take in stray cats, however the shelter has always used the minimal space they had available to take in and help as many stray cats as possible. Since the new SCAS building was opened in 2019 the shelter has been able to take in more strays animals due to more kennel and play space for the animals.
The new SCAS facility included more kennel spaces but also larger play rooms for the cats, a separate meet and greet room for people to meet the canines they are looking to adopt, a grooming room for the animals, a quarantine area in case a sick or injured animal is brought in, heated floors and a built in foaming system to make keeping the facility clean easier for the staff. The old facility could only house 18 dogs and had six cat small cat enclosures, the new shelter has upgraded to 40 kennels for the dogs and space to house about 20 cats. In the area outside the facility there are walking trails and an obstacle course. During the COVID-19 shutdown, the shelter received a grant from TCC Verizon in Sidney to create trails through the wooded areas behind the shelter for staff and volunteers to walk and exercise the shelter dogs. The outside obstacle course was built by the 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award winner Kierstyn Oberdorf of Sidney and other volunteers.
“Compared to where we came from to where we are now, it’s night and day difference,” said Dog Warden Chasitity Crowder.
The shelter’s main goal is to find homes for the animals brought into their care. The small staff only includes the dog warden, deputy and two part time employees who run the front desk, but they continue to work with the animals brought in to figure out their personalities and quirks before trying to find the perfect home for the animal. “Fur-tastic Fridays” is a monthly event that the shelter hosts on the fourth Friday every month in different locations around the county to bring the animals to the community in hopes to find them their “fur-ever” homes.
SCAS also does their best to help sick and injured animals. The shelter works closely with Shelby County Animal Rescue and Tri-County Veterinary to get the animals the help they may need before being put up for adoption. Since the shelter works closely with a rescue and veterinarian, they consider themselves to be a “low-kill” shelter, meaning that euthanizing animals is not something the shelter has had to do often.
“We have had to euthanize, it’s not something we have to do frequently. Over the past six or seven years, percentages (of animals euthanized) have been below 5%,” said Crowder.
Volunteers, individuals looking to adopt or even those who just want to see the animals are always welcome at the shelter. Located at 610 Gearhart Road the shelter is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and is closed on Sundays.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, 555 Gearhart Road, Sidney.