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Humane Society Working To Make Facility A "No-Kill" Shelter

Reported: Mar. 28, 2014 7:10 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 28, 2014 9:01 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kennie Bass) - Since taking over the organization in September, Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association director Chelsea Staley has been working to make the facility a "no-kill" shelter.

Last month, Staley said 98 percent of the animals who came into the shelter were saved. She credits her staff and volunteers, but also social media. She said Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been invaluable for getting the word out about dogs and cats available for adoption.

"We literally live and die by social media," Staley said. "If our animals didn't have a face people wouldn't come to save them, right? So, getting them out there and getting them exposure saves animals. As a non-profit and as a shelter we would never have the budget to market these animals like we do and get the exposure that we do."

Staley said when more animals are saved morale improves. Even young visitors to the shelter are getting involved.

"I have to make sure I have a bed, food and water for them," Haley Hess, a Charleston 4th grade student, said. "And make sure they have a good place for them."

Recently, the shelter's incinerator was removed. Staley said it was a business decision, but it also served as a symbol of the shelter's new direction.

"We're expanding our cat housing into the building next door which is going to misplace our food storage," Haley said. "So we can put our food where the incinerator was. And we're euthanizing a fraction now so it's just not worth it for us to fix it. But it's symbolic, right? Symbolic that we were able to get rid of it."

Staley said the shelter is also adding additional cages for dogs, meaning the animals will have more time to find forever homes, foster homes or rescue organizations before any decisions about euthanasia have to be made.

You can find the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/adoptcharleston



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