I would like to offer some sincere praise to the Belmont County Animal Rescue League (BCARL) in St. Clairsville on behalf of so many animals that were given a second chance at a loving life because of their efforts. I have volunteered there for over five years and have seen many animals come and go and I rejoice when they are adopted especially after being there for months. I have volunteered at other county animal shelters such as Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Dayton, Ohio where so many great dogs and cats were routinely put to sleep after their legal holding period of 3 days if not licensed and 10 days if licensed. At BCARL, good tempered dogs are kept until the shelter is too full and decisions must be made or until a good home/rescue is found. They go well above the legal holding limit because of their great love and compassion for the animals by the shelter staff. I have heard people say negative things like, “I can’t go to the shelter because it’s too sad” or “that’s a “kill” shelter so why support them”; the saddest thing is that is a big part of the problem and an excuse that does nothing but make the odds of them finding homes far worse. The very sad part is for the staff that love and care for these animals each day to have to make the horrible decision of which animals are put to sleep because the shelter is so full and people don’t come there to adopt so there just aren’t enough homes for animals that come in as strays, owner surrenders, hoarding cases, owner neglect and abuse situations. BCARL doesn’t have the luxury of turning away any of these animals like the “no kill” shelters can these animals end up at BCARL since they are a county shelter and they will not be refused there – Thank God because who knows where they would end up more on the streets or killed inhumanely by people putting them in garbage bags or in suitcases and dumpsters like have been all too common lately in our area. The shelter takes and cares for these animals that no one else wants and we should be thanking them and supporting them for this. I hope the community would really try to make a difference and help BCARL and our local animal shelters and then they would see the positive outcomes for the animals and owners who adopt loving companions there. I thank them for not taking the easy way out as so many county shelters do, and put them to sleep after the 3 10 day legal limit, but rather BCARL helps them find loving homes and cares for them like their own while they are at the shelter. The shelter has very limited funds so I really hope the community would step up and volunteer, donate, help market the shelter, educate children on the proper way to care for and to treat animals and to get your dog(s) licensed so if they ever do get lost they have a real chance of finding their way home.

Thank you to the staff at BCARL!

Jodi Apitzsch

St. Clairsville