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Volunteers remain key to animal shelter success
by Mark Boehler
Oct 12, 2013 | 276 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Car wash, yard sale and plenty of adoptions -- it's a busy Saturday morning at the Corinth Alcorn Animal Shelter.

Dogs are barking "take me," families are sorting through excellent white eleghant sale items from toy cars to couches and inmate trustees on their day off are washing vehicles.

Volunteers who love animals are giving of their time and Halie Burress is taking home a new friend -- one of nine adoptions in just two hours Saturday morning at the shelter.

"They've had a big day today -- all the free cats are gone," said Burress, holding a two-year-old large male cat with golden eyes. The animal is neutered, has its necessary shots and was part of the special "Savings Day" for just a $10 adoption fee.

Burress, a 20-year-old nurse assistant at Magnolia Regional Health Center, said her former cat ran away and she's been looking for a new friend.

"I've been up here several times," she said about the facility on Proper Street. "I am impressed. They have improved a lot."

The new cat owner wasn't sure on a name.

"I don't know yet," said Burress, smiling. "We haven't got that far."

The shelter offered discounted adoption rates all day long.

While dogs bark their approval, many people were either donating to the yard sale or purchasing items.

Nylee Wilbanks is a dog owner and supports the shelter. She donated $70 to the shelter last winter, then returned Saturday with her great-grandchildren to take part in the yard sale.

Four-year-old Landon Joe Vanderford picked out toys while nine-year-old Brooklyn Montana Vanderford selected a book. Both were all smiles. "I just love it," said Ms. Wilbanks. "We like to support the shelter."

Doris Walker is another shelter supporter. "I'm so glad I came out," said Ms. Walker, retired from the Corinth School District. "It's all for a good cause."

"We need to support the animals so they can have good homes," she added, as she made a $10 purchase. "Animals are like children -- they need to be nurtured and loved."

Volunteer Debbie Lee was busy putting prices on the items. By-pass surgery has

kept her away from the shelter, but she wanted to be part of the special day.

"I just love animals," said Lee, owner of five dogs. "There's one here I'd love to carry home, but I really don't need another one."

Lee, Sherry Jones and Bonnie Johnson are three of 10 volunteers helping out. Even the seven inmate trustees are volunteers as they are not required to work on Saturday at the shelter, but wanted to be a part, said volunteer shelter director Charlotte Doehner, also president of the shelter board.

Doehner said the shelter has a current 52 percent adoption rate, one which may go up after Saturday. Nine animals were adopted in the first two hours.

Doehner praised the success on volunteers like Sherry Jones and Bonnie Johnson.

"They just do a great job," she said.

Jones, retired and a Counce, Tenn. resident, transports animals to Chicago once or twice a month. An organization called Almost Home "wants all we can send," said Jones, as the organization has an outreach to 87 different animal foster groups.

Jones admitted it's a long ride -- about 12 hours -- but she loves being a part of the area adoption effort.

"I get a really good feeling of accomplishment," she said, smiling.

Bonnie Johnson of Chewalla, Tenn. grew tired of McNairy County ignoring the stray dog and cat problem, so she and her husband H.C. Johnson volunteer at the shelter.

"We want to help people who are making a difference," said Ms. Johnson. "We were getting so many stray drops at our house, we decided to volunteer."

Doehner said the shelter can always use more volunteers, especially transporting animals like volunteer Sherry Jones.

Animals transported to Clarksville, Tenn. go on to North Shore Rescue in Long Island, N.Y., while animals transferred to Memphis become part of Southern Jewell or Bailey's Arms adoption agencies.

"There is a need for volunteers," said Doehner. "All anyone has to do is just come on out."

(For more information on how to volunteer at the Corinth Alcorn Animal Shelter, call 662-284-5400.)
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