If any more dogs or cats need a temporary home, the Raleigh County Humane Society cannot accept them until further notice.

The humane society’s last available person certified to euthanize the thousands of animals that must be destroyed every year resigned Wednesday, said Nancy Shoemaker-Dingess, the humane society’s president.

Months ago, he informed the humane society’s board he was seeking other employment, basically because of lack of acceptable pay, poor benefits, low morale and extreme job stress. This person also worked as a humane officer.

As a result, the humane society cannot accept any more owned animals from the public or stray animals from Raleigh County Animal Control, Shoemaker-Dingess said.

This decision became effective Thursday. The animal shelter will remain open to the public but only for adoptions.

Because the state’s veterinary board only offers training for new euthanasia technicians to be certified once a year in May and will not accept out-of-state credentials, she said she has spent two days working to find a possible solution to the problem.

By next week, she may have a certified technician hired, but she cannot be certain of that.

She noted the animal shelter was full the last time she checked.

Until the situation is solved, Shoemaker-Dingess hopes the public will help out by not only adopting the animals available, but also possibly taking them in for foster care.

She noted the shelter has another 13 animals it is required to keep because they are involved in a court case.

“I hope everyone can have patience with us until we get this straightened out,” she said. “Please, we are open, but we just cannot take in any animals.”

Raleigh County Commission president John Aliff said the county’s animal control officers will now only take away animals that are deemed vicious or sick until the situation is resolved. There is room available at the animal shelter for them.

When the crisis is resolved, officers will then take away all strays as they have done before.

Aliff said he and other commissioners are working on a possible agreement that may temporarily solve the problem.

He instructed his secretary to e-mail Fayette County Commission president Matthew Wender to see if the Fayette commission would support an agreement with Raleigh County in which Fayette County’s euthanasia technicians would euthanize Raleigh County’s animals.

Also, he said would be in contact with Fayette commissioners this weekend as well, working to solve the problem.

He noted rules would require Raleigh County officials to transport animals to Fayette County’s premises for euthanasia. These animals would then have to be taken back to Raleigh County for disposal.

However, he believes the money being saved by the euthanasia technician no longer being employed could offset this cost.

“We will work diligently to get this taken care of as quickly as possible,” Aliff said.

— E-mail: apridemore@register-herald.com

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