| Cincinnati Enquirer
After more than 60 years, Hamilton County has a new no-kill organization taking over the shelter.
As the SPCA ended its contract with Hamilton County, and Clermont’s Animal CARE Humane Society stepped up to take its place.
Cincinnati Animal CARE will run dog warden, humane enforcement, sheltering and animal services for Hamilton County. The organization began operation at the Northside former SPCA location on Aug. 1 and inherited 168 animals and 37 employees.
“We were doing our thing out in Clermont County and this spring we started thinking that maybe we could be an answer for Hamilton County, and so we reached out,” said Meaghan Colvill, director of Life Saving Operations at the Clermont and Hamilton County Animal CARE shelters. Both organizations are separate but will have the same leadership team.
SPCA will keep control of its Sharonville location.
“The biggest difference is going to be the commitment to life saving — every animal is going to be treated as an individual,” Colvill said.
The former SPCA building, now housed by Cincinnati Animal CARE, will be much the same, only now each kennel will have one dog per kennel.
“We took in a full shelter and when I say that, it’s because there were a lot of animals in every kennel. The true capacity is only 100 dogs,” Colvill said.
Cincinnati Animal CARE will never turn away a stray dog. The shelter requests that people call ahead and make an appointment in order to surrender an animal, especially during the pandemic.
Emphasis on fostering
During the pandemic, the Clermont Animal CARE shelter put 75% of their dogs in foster homes. It opened space in the shelter for animals most in need, and Colvill said the intent is to do the same in Hamilton County.
“When we can build a really strong foster program, our capacity starts to increase and we can help more animals,” Colvill said. “Plus it’s just better for the animals, being in a home mentally is better than being stuck in a shelter.
“Fostering is the future.”
There are multiple fostering options: two- to four-hour lunch dates, overnight stays, short-term fosters for a week or two and long-term fosters.
Cincinnati Animal CARE and Clermont Animal CARE are both seeking foster homes for shelter animals.
In an attempt to spread the word about the county’s new dog wardens, Cincinnati Animal CARE regularly posts on social media.
Its Facebook page has a Lost and Found gallery of missing animals and features different adoptable shelter pets. The organization is also active on Instagram and Twitter.
“Basically trying to build a bridge with the community like, ‘Hey we’re here, we’ve got these animals that just came in if you can help us signal boost.'” said Ray Anderson, media and community relations manager for the organizations. “Not only does that help the dog and the family that might be looking for it, it helps people know we’re here.”
All of the adoptable animals will be listed on the Cincinnati Animal CARE website. Appointments are encouraged, though walk-ins are accepted. There might be a wait due to social distancing requirements and masks are mandatory.
“We’re in the market for any kind of donations people could bring us. We’re starting off really from zero. We walked into a very full building with animals and very few supplies,” Colvill said.
The shelter is looking for food, toys, litter, cleaning supplies, bedding and enrichment items, most of which are listed on the shelter’s Amazon Wish List.
“I think people are going to be really happy with the life saving work that’s happening here. This isn’t the old dog pound anymore,” Colvill said.