The SPCA of Martinsville-Henry County still needs foster families for shelter animals so it can house dogs from the city animal control facility during its renovation project.
Renovations at the city facility are scheduled to begin Wednesday, and the dogs will be transferred to the SPCA on Tuesday, said Chase Inman, director of marketing and development and volunteer coordinator at the SPCA.
The animal control facility will be transferring about eight dogs, but the SPCA would like to clear out all the dogs currently in its shelter so so it will “have enough space to handle whatever they (animal control officers) bring in,” Inman said.
During the renovations, which could take about a month to complete, the SPCA will house the dogs from the animal control facility but it will not be operating as an animal control facility where people can drop animals off, Inman said. People needing those services still must contact the city’s animal control officers, she added.
The renovations to the facility off Clearview Drive will include replacing the roof on the building and putting shed roofs on top of the outdoor dog runs, said Martinsville Police Capt. Eddie Cassady. If there are funds left, an office will be constructed at the animal control facility, which would allow for more public access.
The project is being funded by a $25,000 donation from the Humane Society, he said.
The SPCA currently has 40 dogs in its shelter that it would like to find foster care for, Inman said.
So far, about 12 are scheduled to be cared for between Martinsville area residents and a boarding facility in Danville called Hollywood Pets, Inman said.
To recruit foster families, the SPCA has been asking anyone who comes into the shelter if they are interested, and it has been reaching out through social media, Inman added.
The SPCA will provide all necessary supplies for the foster families’ dogs, including crates, food, bedding, etc. as needed. Also, all vaccines will be up-to-date on the animals, and they will have been spayed and neutered, Inman said.
Informational booklets on the care of the animal will be provided as well, she said.
The city is not paying for the SPCA to house the animals. The SPCA is using its general fund, Inman said.
The SPCA and the city work closely together, so “we try to help them out whenever they need us,” Inman said. “We want to serve as a relief effort for them (the city) ... we’re willing to take on the task.”
A few years ago, the SPCA did the same for the Henry County pound when it performed upgrades, Inman said.
Tracy Wadsworth of Martinsville has been fostering a neonatal kitten for about six weeks for the SPCA. She moved here from the Outer Banks about nine months ago and has been fostering ever since, she said.
She spent 20 years working as a veterinary technician before becoming a stay-at-home mom with her five children. Being at home, she still wanted to care for animals; therefore, she decided to get involved with fostering for the SPCA, Wadsworth said.
“We do what we can when we can to help the shelter out,” Wadsworth said. “There’s always a need for it (fostering) because there’s so many (animals) out there” at the shelter.
Since living here, Wadsworth has kept a puppy that had parvovirus and had to be quarantined for three months and a litter of four kittens for three weeks, she said.
The SPCA is “very helpful” to the foster families because “they’ll supply everything that you need” and train everyone for any special care the animal requires, Wadsworth said.
Being a foster parent is “very rewarding,” Wadsworth said. She added that she is glad to be able to give the animals a temporary home which they may not otherwise have.
While all animals are guaranteed a home at the SPCA shelter, Wadsworth knows that it is tough for the SPCA to find spaces for them since the facility stays full.
“If people have space available in their homes,” they should foster because it helps keep the animals in the area instead of being sent off to an agency in New York or elsewhere, she said.
By helping the city, the SPCA hopes to develop its foster program and add more people to its foster base. Currently, it has fewer than 10 people providing foster care, Inman said.
For interested families, the SPCA will offer a foster class from 2-4 p.m. Sept. 15 at the shelter in which proper care of the animals will be discussed, she added.
To foster an animal, call the SPCA at 638-7297.