Public welcome to visit animal shelter on Christmas

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Provided photo – Diesel, a pit bull at the Orleans County Animal Shelter, gets in the holiday spirit.

BARRE – In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Joette McHugh encourages local residents to not forget about homeless pets in animal shelters.

She will be spending part of Christmas at the Orleans County Animal Shelter, where she is the lead volunteer. She welcomes the community to stop in between 10 a.m. and noon to play with the dogs and cats that are waiting to be adopted.

Three years ago the shelter opened on Christmas for the community to stop by. McHugh said about 30 people visited last Dec. 25, bringing treats and spending time with the animals.

“That’s the magic of Christmas when people show up and give a pet a hug,” she said.

There are six dogs and 11 cats at the shelter. In the last three weeks, 12 dogs and seven cats have been adopted out.

In the past five years, volunteers and the animal control officer have adopted out 1,200 animals from the shelter, the former Starrview Kennels at the corner of routes 98 and 31A.

The volunteers will have Christmas cookies for anyone who wants to stop by and see the animals on Christmas.