Animal shelter focuses on cause

Rob Craft talks about changes at the Miami Count Animal Shelter while accompanied by one of the dogs available for adoption. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Rob Craft talks about changes at the Miami Count Animal Shelter while accompanied by one of the dogs available for adoption. CONTRIBUTED

Young, dedicated staff does a lot.

The staff at the Miami County Animal Shelter, including a new manager in recent months, continue efforts to improve the operation.

The shelter, built in 1971 on County Road 25A just north of Troy next to the county fairgrounds, has kennels for 33 dogs and space, ideally, for 15 cats.

The shelter’s manager, Rob Craft, came on board in May.

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A resident of his hometown in Auglaize County’s New Bremen, Craft came to the shelter from a job just up at the road at the now-closed West Central Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility. He worked there 20 years and most recently was second shift supervisor.

“I loved that job,” Craft said, adding he wanted to stay employed with the county and was pleased when the opportunity for the shelter position presented itself.

“It was a big transition for me. There was a lot to learn, a lot of responsibility, a lot of processes,” he said. A background in management has helped along with experience dealing with the West Central youth and other people.

Now that he is more comfortable in the role, Craft said he “has a vision of where I want to see the shelter in the future.”

Current projects include working to develop a shelter 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. This would not only provide supporters a way to make a tax-deductible contribution. It also would “provide us with a group of people who will make a more concerted effort on fundraising activities,” he said.

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The shelter receives income from the sale of dog tags, from fees charged for adoptions and other services and from donations. “Money donated to the shelter is only used for that purpose,” Craft said, explaining he has been told some people think donated money goes to the county general fund.

The shelter has a young but dedicated staff, he said.

“I don’t think most people realize how complex their job is,” he said. “They all love the animals and working with them.” The other tasks include, among others, responding to calls and bringing in animals and being on call at night.

Overall, he said, “they do a tremendous job.”

The shelter has undergone several changes in recent years including the donation in 2020 by Pat and Thom Robinson of Troy of a covered structure. It is used daily for exercising dogs and allowing those looking to adopt a place to interact with the dog.

The shelter has been a no-kill facility for three years and works with rescue and other organizations on spay and neuter and microchipping programs.

More medical care is provided today than in the past and sterile environments are needed for animals following some medical care.

Efforts continue to maximize use of limited space in the shelter. The shelter garage, once a cluttered place of storage, has been organized with shelves of donated food, litter, toys and other items.

The number of volunteers has grown along with the activities they are doing for the shelter. Two volunteers come every Saturday and walk every dog. They also help clean and at public events involving the shelter.

The shelter has greatly expanded the number of volunteers it has and activities it has them doing. “It has been a benefit to the shelter and, I think, beneficial to them, too,” Craft said.

LEARN MORE

Online: Information on donating to the Miami County Animal Shelter and its wish list can be found on the shelter website at www.co.miami.oh.us/shelter.

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