Animal shelter benefit brings big community response

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Friends of the Orleans County Animal Shelter put on a benefit today at The Pillars in Albion. It was a big draw with about 200 baskets up for raffle.

The Friends expected to raise at least $4,000, with the proceeds to help with spaying, neutering, vaccinations and some of the medical costs for animals.

“The community has been very supportive,” said Kathy Smith, the county’s animal control officer.

She thanked the many businesses and organizations that contributed to today’s benefit, as well as the volunteers that organized the event.

The Friends has a board of directors with five members and a dedicated corps of about 20 volunteers that serve at the animals shelter, located at the corner of routes 98 and 31A in Barre.

Nancy Miles, a retired Albion town clerk, is among the volunteers and board members.

Sgt. Todd Draper of the Medina Police Department and K-9 Kye did a drug detection demonstration.

Miles said the shelter could use funds so its smoke alarm system sends signals to dispatch if there is an alarm. The shelter could also use a new laundry machine for blankets and towels for the animals, and a walk-in tub to make it easier to give dogs a bath.

“I absolutely love animals,” Miles said. “They need somebody to speak up for them.”

Tony McMurtie, co-owner of The Pillars, made the facility available for the benefit. He adopted a dog from the animal shelter that proved a good pet.

Wendy Kenney, a board member for Friends, wasn’t surprised by the turnout, despite the rain.

“A lot of people have pets and a lot of people have adopted from us,” she said.

Lt. Chris Bourke, the K-9 handler with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, talks about Kim the K-9 before they did a demonstration showing the dog’s tracking abilities.