Workers at the McDowell County Animal Shelter want their homeless pets not to be forgotten this holiday season.

Veterinary Technician Kaitlin Settlemyre has hung 30 stockings up for each of the shelter animals in hopes of getting donations from the public to fill them up.

“We are trying to fill them with toys, treats, brushes, lids that cover dog food cans or anything we can use at the shelter,” Settlemyre said. “If they get adopted before Christmas, we are going to send the stocking home with their new family as a gift.”

The shelter also accepts donations such as blankets, quilts, food, litter and money. Settlemyre said anything helps and everything gets used that is donated.

“Toys that we are looking for are ones that we can disinfect really easily, something to give the dogs something to do so they are not so bored back there,” she said.

The shelter is at capacity right now with 18 dogs and 13 cats, and cannot accept any animals at this time. Settlemyre hopes the community will drop off donations for the animals and just come check them out.

“We would really like to get people in here. Hopefully getting people to donate and at least go back and look at our animals. Even if they can’t adopt, they may see a really awesome dog for another family and pass it on. We really want to get the community back involved with the shelter,” she said.

All of the animals that come into the shelter are assessed for injury, illness or behavior and checked to make sure there is nothing abnormal. If something is found, those animals are treated at one of the local vet offices. The animal shelter staff takes notes on the animals along the way for their medical history.

But, Settlemyre said, euthanizations are only being performed if there is an issue with injury or illness and behavior.

“That’s really what we are trying to move toward is only having to euthanize for those reasons versus space. It is a service to the community, and we have to make room, but if we can get these animals moved and pulled to rescues or a foster home, that is really our goal,” she said.

All adoptions are $65 and include spay or neuter, pre-op exam and a rabies vaccine at any of the veterinary hospitals.

“In a week we have about three to five adoptions. We have some really good rescues that help us and pull a lot of animals, and that is really our main source of moving animals is through rescues,” Settlemyre said.

If you can’t adopt an animal, becoming a foster parent is the next best thing. The McDowell County chapter of Brother Wolf, Rusty’s Legacy and Mercy Fund are all working with the shelter to get these furry pals into at least a temporary home.

“We just want to get as many cats and dogs into good homes as we can,” said Settlemyre.

The shelter is located at 3751 N.C. 226 South, Marion. It operates Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. They can be reached at 652-6643, or on FB at McDowell County Animal Shelter NC. No drop-offs are allowed after hours.

To Become a Foster or Adopter:

McDowell County Animal Shelter: 652-6643; Facebook

Brother Wolf McDowell County: 559-2777; www.bwar.org; Facebook

Rusty’s Legacy: 460-3190; rustyslegacync@aol.com

Healing Hearts Small Animal Rescue: 925-5420; Facebook

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