Local volunteers start non-profit to help shelter dogs

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Lucas County Canine Care and Control takes in thousands of injured, stray and abandoned dogs every year. Taking care of them and finding homes for them is a big job. The shelter now has some extra help.

The Friends of Lucas County Dogs is a charity organization that was started earlier this year. This time of year, there are more than 100 dogs at Lucas County Canine Care and Control on any given day.

Jeanette Pacholski has been a volunteer for several years, helping make life at the shelter better for the dogs and to find homes for many of them. More than a year ago, she and several other volunteers decided to do more. They started Friends of Lucas County Dogs, a non-profit that raises money for the shelter."You know when you come in and spend time with the dogs, even if it's just two or three a day, you have made those dogs lives better. Just being able to do that keeps me coming back week after week. I know I cannot adopt every dog, this is my way of making a true difference for the shelter."

Shelter Director Richard Stewart says the volunteers and the non-profit are critical components of a successful operation, "There is always a friends group at any progressive shelter. This kind of group is the first step toward reaching the higher goals we have. They are able to apply for some grants that we are not able to. They do fundraising we don't have the time, resources or staff to do. I cannot emphasize enough just how much this kind of a group means to a shelter."

Jeanette says the group's first fundraiser was a big success, and all the money goes right back to the dogs."We're looking at agility equipment for the playground, new leashes, toys. We are also planning to buy things for the kennels that can be used as enrichment so the dogs don't just sit there all day and bark. We want to do what we can to help make their time here at the shelter better. "

While they are starting small, the group has big goals. Jeanette says the hope is that a new shelter will be built, "There will be lots of things the county will pay for when it comes to a new shelter. But there will also be plenty of things the county won't pay for. We will likely be starting a campaign and helping with those funds also. We will be working to get the extras for the shelter and the dogs."

When it comes to where or when a new shelter will be built, Richard says those questions have not yet been answered, "We don't have a timetable just yet, but it is definitely something that is needed sooner rather than later."

In the meantime, the work of Jeanette and all the other volunteers will continue to pay big dividends, "We hope that we can make the dogs that are here a better fit for families and find them wonderful forever homes. When we see those happy endings, that makes it all worthwhile."

There are a number of different ways you can help Friends of Lucas County Dogs. You can donate time, supplies or money.

Lucas County Canine Care and Control is in need of blankets and canned dog food right now.

We've posted links.