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Humane Society volunteer day helps animals

NATCHEZ — Adams County dogs and cats looking for homes soon will receive a boost of help from a national grant and area volunteers.

The Natchez-Adams County Humane Society will receive a $5,000 grant that will be put toward a renovation makeover at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The grant comes from Pedigree and GreaterGood, which is also providing $5,000 in dog food to the shelter.

NACHS President Kathy Fitch said she was excited to receive the grant, which is only given to one shelter per state.

“Any help we can get with the quarantine shelter is a really great help to us,” Fitch said. “That’s where we keep the pups as they are being prepared for transport to anywhere from one to two weeks prior to transport.”

The humane society operates a main shelter at 392 Liberty Road in Natchez and keeps a quarantine shelter at 475 Liberty Road. NACHS is planning to build a new facility at the site of the quarantine shelter.

NACHS Board Member Deanne Tanksley said the humane society has successfully transported approximately 1,000 puppies and dogs to other shelters in the last 15 months. The program, Tanksley said, has helped NACHS’ euthanasia rate drop from almost 60 percent in 2012 to less than 21 percent in 2013.

Local volunteers interested in helping April 26 are asked to log onto natchezpetadoptions.org and complete an application.

“There will be something there for everybody of all skill levels,” Fitch said. “We hope we get some folks out to do that.”

Humane society volunteer Linda Kennon said the shelter is in need of money, especially for the new building fund.

Kennon describes the current shelter as an old house converted to serve NACHS needs.

“It does not have good plumbing,” she said. “We need new cages and a cleaner environment to house all the animals. It’s not that the employees aren’t cleaning, but there is only so much you can do with the facility they are in now.”

Fitch said the NACHS should start construction on the new facility this summer.

“We’re in the process of looking at our plans to try and make sure we are doing everything as cheaply as we can and still get a quality build,” she said. “We’re adjusting our shelter plan a little bit more, and then we will ask for another bid on the whole project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a better amount we can afford.”

Fitch said she cannot say how much money the NACHS lacks because a final cost has not been determined.

“We are very hopeful we will be able to bring in the rest of the amount we need while we are building it,” she said. “I think a lot of people just want to see us start. We know we will need to raise a significant amount to complete the project.”

Fitch said officials are still deciding on which projects will be tackled with the $5,000 Saturday, adding a majority of the work would likely be concentrated at the quarantine shelter. “We are very appreciative of any help we get,” she said.

Anyone who wants to help Saturday can go to  natchezpetadoptions.org and complete an application.