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Preston County Animal Shelter Seeing Improvements

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PRESTON COUNTY -

The weather the past week has been making it difficult for the Preston County Animal Shelter.

Courtney Austin, the shelter manager, prepares for storms in many ways.

"What we were asking people for was anyone that was able to foster if they were willing to take a dog home for a couple of days just to get us through this cold snap," Austin said. "We were willing to send them to foster. We also contacted many rescue groups around the area, rescue groups that we work with. Some of these are local rescues and some of these are out of state rescues."

The shelter also has volunteers that have come in and help. They answer phones, return emails, and walk and feed the animals.

"I think it's rewarding when you see the animals. They're just so appreciative of anyone that comes out to take them for a walk or gives them food," said Michelle Nieman, volunteer at the shelter. "Just pet them and spend a little time with them. These animals are from our community. These animals are from our community, it's a good idea to try to take care of them."

Austin tried to help the situation by transporting dogs to other rescue groups.

She said the shelter runs on volunteers.

"We ask college kids, if you're going home let us know where you're heading," said Austin. "If you're going towards Virginia or Ohio, if you're going somewhere we might have a dog going, let us know. We can get that dog moved out a whole lot quicker if they don't mind riding with a fury companion."

The shelter has sent five dogs to other rescue groups and was supposed to send seven more.

It took in more than 100 new animals on Thursday because of a seizure at a Preston County residence.

It brought in goats, dogs, chickens, and rabbits.

The seizure made it difficult for the shelter to arrange transport for the dogs.

"We are only two staff members here, there's only the two of us," said Austin. "When we're doing a large animal seizure like that, you need both of you employees to direct your volunteers on what's going on. It's hard for us to be here in the office."

The shelter has been colder because the furnace hasn't been working.

Austin is using space heaters and burning garbage in the cremulator to keep the area warm at night.

"I think the ladies here are doing such a great job," said Nieman. "We should all support them to keep it going in Preston County. I'm really proud of them and proud of what they're doing here."

The shelter said it still needs volunteers to help transport animals and to call Courtney Austin at 304-329-3461 if you would like to help.