By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
The Marting’s Foundation has awarded a $3,200 grant to Sierra’s Haven Animal Shelter.
“This is for a surgery stool for the surgeon in our surgery room, and additional surgery light, because we have two tables now and two machines, because Marting’s helped us buy a second anesthesia machine that helps us do a lot more surgeries,” said Dr. Gail Counts, owner of Sierra’s Haven. “We also have to wrap all of our ducts in our ceiling with insulation because it condenses and drips through all of our ceiling tile. So it has ruined some of our offices and some of our rooms.”
Counts, who also operates Shawnee Animal Clinic, said she does about 30 surgeries on her day off at Sierra’s Haven, in addition to surgeries on Monday nights and Saturdays.
“It’s just a tremendous help to help the community, because we do low-income spays and neuters up here,” Counts said. “We’re just trying to cut down on the overpopulation in the county, so we don’t have to take in so many animals. So in the long run, if you don’t work on that end you just fill up and you never get anywhere with the shelter.”
Julia Wisniewski of the Marting’s Foundation said cutting down on the overpopulation of strays in the area is the reason the Foundation chose Sierra’s Haven to award the grant to.
“That was some of the conversation that we had. What would our community look like without Sierra’s Haven’s contributions,” Wisniewski said.
Counts said one of the original premises the shelter was built on was the need for a partnership with the community.
“Everything goes together,” Wisniewski said. “It isn’t one group or one philosophy or one non-profit or another non-profit. It’s all community. And that’s very important to us — the whole idea of community. Even from the angle of economic development. What would we look like if someone comes in. You have to give a good appearance. And you can’t if you have an issue with excessive cats and dogs running the streets.”
Counts said when everyone works together, it is possible to solve the problem of overpopulation.
“You probably notice on the highways you don’t see nearly as many stray dogs running. You used to just see them everywhere,” Counts said. “I think it has made just a tremendous impact. And we just have to keep working at it.”
Counts said Sierra’s Haven also partners with Rescue Wagon, to take dogs out of this area and transport them to Wisconsin.
“They (Wisconsin) have such a low cost spay and neuter program as well as owners having their animals done, that they don’t have animals in their shelter,” Counts said. “That’s why they can take 50 to 60 animals from us every month and ship them to Wisconsin to get adopted because their shelters are empty. They’ve also got state funding, and that helps a lot. So they don’t have to just do it like we do.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com