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Seniors learn Animal Shelter is more than pet adoptions

There was the skunk with its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar.

And the missing Dachshund found stuck down in a groundhog hole.

And the St. Bernard treading water, nearly to the end.

And it’s all part of the job for the folks at the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter, 705 Hale Road.

Chris Browder with the shelter explained that staff members wear many hats.

“We adopt pets ... we’re also animal control,” said Browder, to a lunchtime audience at Shelby Senior Services.

Browder came to the shelter in 2006 after adopting a dog following the death of her sister from breast cancer. Having the pet helped her heal from the loss, she said.

The shelter responds to all types of calls from the public about stray and injured animals.

Once they had a skunk with its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar. After some maneuvering, shelter staff managed to free the animal, without getting sprayed, and it trotted away licking the mayo off its face, Browder said.

In another instance, staff managed to find a lost Dachshund whimpering in a groundhog hole, and dug him out safely.

They also discovered a full-grown St. Bernard that was stuck in a swimming pool nearly worn out from staying afloat and trying to get out.

Keith Barrett, director of the shelter, got in the water and managed to get the large, soaking wet dog to safety, Browder said.

Except for animals that are too sick or seriously injured to save, and those that are too vicious to adopt, no dogs or cats are put to sleep at the shelter anymore, she said.

“They’re there until they find a home,” said Browder.

One in particular has made the shelter his home, she noted, Max the Shelter Cat.

He was so disagreeable that efforts to find Max a home didn’t work out, so Browder suggested that the shelter adopt him.

Now Max is a local and online celebrity with fans all over; one woman who came to see Max was from Virginia, Browder said, and orders for T-shirts with Max’s picture have come from all over.

In May, Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun signed a proclamation naming Max an Honorary Ambassador for Shelbyville.

More information about the shelter and adopting a dog or cat is available by calling - 317-392-5127.

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