Humane Society opens its office in downtown

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By Jenny Hartley

The Humane Society of Lancaster County now has an office.

And, no, the AFLAC duck in the window is not up for adoption.

The Humane Society has been working since late last year to establish a fostering and adoption program to reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized at the Lancaster County Animal Shelter each month.

The Humane Society is hoping one day for the donation of land or money to build a low-kill shelter of its own, said Dawn Wagner, the society's publicity and fundraising director.

Until then, its central location is 126 S. Main St.

Wagner owns the building and the one next door on Main Street, and she is an AFLAC insurance agent, hence, the posters of both the signature white duck and puppies and kittens in the office window.

"We've got plenty of space," Wagner said. "Being on Main Street has really helped the visibility and exposure for the society."

Seminar this Saturday

Humane Society members invite residents to the office on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, for a seminar on how to foster pets. The society desperately needs more foster homes.

"All of our pets are in foster homes right now," Wagner said.

Those homes keep pets usually for a short time until rescue organizations pick them up, or they're adopted out locally. The Humane Society has been working with several out-of-state rescue organizations, including some as far away as Virginia and Colorado, to find homes for unwanted pets.

Because of strict spay and neuter laws in Virginia, that state has a shortage of puppies and kittens, so Lancaster County's pets find good homes there, Wagner said.

Saturday's seminar will focus on what's involved in being a foster home.

Wagner said pets taken from the animal shelter usually only need to stay in foster homes for two to three weeks.

People can choose whether they want to foster dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, or special-needs animals – those with medical problems or other issues. Sometimes there's a need for a foster home willing to nurse orphaned puppies around the clock.

"That's a tough job," Wagner said.

Those interested in providing a foster home for the Humane Society may drop in at the society's office on Saturday – they do not need to attend the entire three hours.

Groomers needed

The Humane Society would also like to find people interested in helping bathe and groom animals at the Lancaster County Animal Shelter to make them more appealing for adoption. Wagner said there's a Maltese and poodle mix at the shelter now that just needs a good bath and some tender care, and he'll be ready for adoption.

Another lovable dog is also now ready for adoption – Karma, the black Labrador that came to the Animal Shelter with a collar embedded in the skin of his neck. Karma is recovering nicely from his wounds, and is looking for a loving family, Wagner said.

The Humane Society of Lancaster County will begin holding adopt-a-thons at its office each Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. starting July 11.

For details, call 285-5900 or go to www.savelancasterpets.org.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or (803) 283-1151