GREENVILLE– Blue skies and bright sunshine made for a perfect backdrop during the second annual Darke County Animal Shelter open house held on Saturday.
For shelter director Robert Bair, the open house was an opportunity to bring the community together not only for their love of dogs but to showcase the shelter.
“We have been no kill since 2018,” explained Bair, emphasizing the shelter has changed over the last decade, and no longer are they the dreaded dog warden. Following a mission to ensure the safety and welfare of animals and provide rehab and re-home opportunities.
The open house allowed the public to ask questions, see the changes from years past, and visit over a dozen vendors.
“Someone has a pet at home,” said Bair as he shared the diverse offerings from the vendors, including Hills Pet Nutrition and the Darke County Parks, to name a few. Also in attendance were Green Lawn Animal Clinic Dr. Jennifer Gerber and her staff, offering discounted vaccines and microchips for dogs and cats.
The event also offered attendees free food and drinks, door prizes, and a crowd favorite – puppies. Some 15 were available for adoption during the three-hour event.
Members of the Darke County Friends of the Shelter were also in attendance.
“We are little but mighty,” said Friends member Jeanie Harshbarger during the labor of love event. She shared some history related to the group and the shelter, including the adjacent dog park, Scentral Park, which was built thanks to generous donations and fundraising in 2013.
The park is a little over two acres and includes plenty of space for dogs to exercise, and offers seating and parking for their owners.
The shelter’s K9 corral, a space allowing potential owners to visit with a dog before adoption, was also built thanks to donations and fundraisers.
No tax monies were involved, continued Harshbarger, with the shelter’s fundraisers including pictures with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, pet calendars, 5k run and walk, among other events.
For Bair, it was a day of success, and while stating it was impossible to name everyone, he wanted to thank vendors, staff, and the public for making the open house possible.
Several volunteer opportunities are available at the shelter, from visiting with dogs to cleaning, and those with interest are encouraged to contact the Darke County Shelter for more information at 937-547-1645, or go to www.darkecountyanimalshelter.com.