By Jean A. Flanagan
“You should have seen them in the snow.”
Jim Shupe smiles as he watches five stray dogs frolic inside the fenced enclosure at the Hardy County Dog Pound.
Shupe is in his second year as the Hardy County Dog Warden and has overseen a variety of improvements to the facility, all done with the help of the Hardy County Commission and several area businesses.
In November, Ward Malcolm and Bob Taylor with Nordy’s Building Materials in Moorefield donated fencing material to build the outdoor enclosure. The Hardy County Commission allocated funds from the dog licenses to install the fence and to replace the indoor kennel doors.
“Before this, the dogs couldn’t go outside,” Shupe said. “They could only go out of the kennels into the walkway. I had to clean the kennels with them there. It’s so much better this way.”
Not only can Shupe clean the kennels more thoroughly, the dogs get some exercise and are less likely to be agitated. [private]
Other local businesses have donated materials to improve the kennel, as well.
Central Tie donated 10 gallons of exterior paint. “When the weather warms up, I’ll paint the building,” Shupe said.
84 Lumber donated interior paint and exhaust fans. Shupe installed the fans and is in the process of painting the interior.
V & W Electric in Petersburg provided outside lighting for the kennel.
The driveway and parking area have been improved and a new sign is ready to be hung. “Sara Hefner painted the sign,” Shupe said.
The Hardy County Commission also purchased a new hot water heater and Shupe found and installed an interior space heater. “I can’t believe this place didn’t have hot water or heat,” Shupe said. “There wasn’t much done over the past 14 years.”
Plans for the near future include removing an old freezer and installing a sink.
Shupe has also worked hard to improve response and recovery efforts for stray and lost dogs. He has anywhere from five to 15 dogs a month at the pound. “When people call, I try to get out as soon as possible,” he said.
Shupe has created a Facebook page and when a dog is recovered, he puts their picture on Facebook. A number of lost dogs have been returned to their owners as a result.
The sad fact is that some dogs are just abandoned and Shupe works with the Potomac Highlands Animal Rescue to find them new homes.
“I work with Chestina Tharpe,” he said. “They come and get the dogs that people dump off and find them new homes. I haven’t had to put a dog down since I’ve been here.
“Sometimes people get a dog and just can’t take care of it. I wish people would call me instead of just dumping a dog.”
Shupe said he could use some 5-gallon buckets and old towels. “We put their water in the 5-gallon buckets, but they just chew them up,” he said.
If you have items to donate, call 304-257-7912 and Shupe will come and get them. [/priavte]