COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Franklin County Dog Shelter is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional funding. A little more than $693,000 dollars was approved by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.
Kaye Persinger, the shelter’s director, said the money is needed to help an overworked staff.
“They’re just being overworked, we’re seven days a week operation, that includes holidays, everything, 24 hours a day, the dogs don’t stop coming in,” Persinger said.
When she left work on Monday, her team was taking care of nearly 300 dogs, about double what a high number of dogs would have been just a few years ago, Persinger said, and more dogs mean more time is required to care for them.
“We needed the additional (money) because our numbers are higher than they’ve ever been in the last several years and we needed it for a relief factor in staffing,” she said.
That number has grown to include 70 lost dogs taken in by the shelter in the last 72 hours as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a post on the shelter’s Facebook page, pushing the shelter to capacity.
“With the continued increase of intakes, the shelter is now FULL and we are asking for our community’s help now more than ever, in locating the families of these dogs,” the shelter posted. “If your dog has escaped your care, please do not wait. Visit the Franklin County Dog Shelter in-person right away to look for your lost dog.”
The money approved by commissioners will go towards hiring 11 new employees, nine kennel attendants and two adoption coordinators. John O’Grady, president of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, said it was a pretty easy decision.
“We’re doing everything we can to adopt dogs out all the time, but while they’re in our care, we have to make sure we’re taking as good care of them as we possibly can,” he said. “We need the people on staff that can help us do that.”
In addition to having more dogs, it’s taking longer to get the four-legged friends adopted, according to Persinger, adding that shelters around the country are experiencing similar issues.
Applications for the additional positions are already posted, and Persinger said it’ll be a big relief for her team once those jobs are filled.
“They can actually take a break, they can actually take a vacation without feeling guilty about that because they’re leaving all this additional work behind,” she said. “When they’re sick, they can actually take off and stay home like they should be doing and not feel guilty about that as well, knowing these dogs are still going to get the care they need every day.”