Clear the Shelters: Brunswick County Animal Protective Services

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 5:29 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The animals at the Brunswick County Animal Shelter arrive there for many different reasons. Whether they are a stray or surrendered by their owner, they are all treated the same and with the same goal in mind.

“We’re a safe place for them come to during that time so we want to give them all the love that we can and just get them ready for their next home whether they’re scared or nervous or just unhealthy. That’s why we’re here,” said Christina Tolley, Kennel Manager.

For the past two and a half years, Tolley has used her expertise as a dog trainer and former veterinary technician to get to know each and every animal.

“I can’t put them in their right home if I don’t know their personality, what they like, what their comfort level is, their favorite type of toy or treat. It just makes their adoption so much more successful,”said Tolley.

The same goes for anyone who walks into the shelter looking for a pet.

“I always ask them, what are they looking for in a dog. What personality, what do you imagine a dog to be when they come into your house? Because they may say they want a certain breed or certain size, but it may not be the personality match that’s going to be the best for them. So, if I can find out what is the best personality, then we can match them with the animals that are here, because we know them... we know what they like, we know the type of life they want to live so we can put that into play when we find their new family,” said Tolley.

Like other shelters, there are play yards. The Brunswick County Animal Shelter recommends bringing in family members and other pets to make sure it’s the right fit. There are three different shifts of volunteers that come in to walk the dogs and play with the cats so they are in their kennels as little as possible.

“It’s so great; you get to spend time with dogs, cats, pretty much animal. We’re pretty much like a big farm around here. This is a great place to be around. The energy is good. We’re just like a big family,” said Michael Lerner, shelter volunteer.

Seeing animals mistreated and not taken care of is one of the hardest parts of the job, and the stereotype that animal shelters are a bad place for animals to wind up is not true.

“It’s one of the most frustrating. We don’t judge you for bringing your animal in. We’re not a bad place for them to come. So, if things get out of hand, there’s no reason that you can’t call. So that is so hard to see and hear... people letting animals get in such bad conditions without calling us and seeing how we and help them,” said Tolley.

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