New Hanover County Animal Services’ new partnerships aim to help “Clear the Shelters”

New Hanover County Animal Services’ new partnerships aim to help “Clear the Shelters”
Updated: Aug. 14, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Throughout August, WECT has been partnering with rescue groups to Clear the Shelters in southeastern North Carolina.

New Hanover County Animal Services has been trying new ideas to help clear its own shelter the last several months. The director has been partnering with with local volunteer trainers for basic command training and a sending dogs off to daycare for a some socialization as well.

“We do it for the dogs,” said Scott Weikert of Hounds Town. “Basically what we’re trying to do is socialize, them. Some of them can tend to get institutionalized, they’ve been there too long.”

On any given week, Weikert picks up three dogs from the New Hanover County Animal Control and takes them on a road trip to Hounds Town, a local doggy day care, three days a week. There, the dogs, which are confined to cages at animal control, get to some cage-free socialization with other dogs, over several field trip days.

“It helps take the guess work out of the dog someone may be adopting,” said Weikert.

The dogs will graduate with a “Socialization Certificate” to let prospective owners know the dog gets along with other canines.

“Every little bit helps,” said New Hanover County Animal Control Director Stephen Watson. “I thought, ‘how can we make these dogs more marketable, more adoptable?”

Watson says the worst thing that can happen is a dog or cat ends up back at the shelter, and these new programs are helping make difference.

“These aren’t just dogs,” Watson said. “They’re full blown citizens of the world.”

For more information about adoptable pets at New Hanover County Animal Control, click here.

For more information about services offered by Hounds Town, click here.