BLADEN COUNTY -- The Bladen County Animal Shelter is trying to do their part when it comes to saving animals. However, they want the community to take responsibility for the outcome. Bladen County is one of the largest counties in the state, with a huge animal population. The county animal shelter takes in three to four thousand stray or unwanted animals each year and the ugly truth behind all those animals is 70 percent of them are euthanized, because of the lack of space. Shelter volunteer Sylvia Kim comes in to help more than 60 hours a week. She says it's hard to work with animals she knows may not be there when she gets back. Kim said, "They come in their hunger, their lost, their strayed, their dumped, people forget that they are our companions sometimes and they just don't care about them." With the work of dedicated volunteers like Kim and her organization "A Shelter Friend" the number of animals euthanized in Bladen County have been going down. Kim comes in each week to take pictures of the animals and post them on a number of websites. One of them is www.dogsindanger.com featuring a countdown clock, letting the public know just how much time each dog has left. Shelter supervisor Ted Carter says the urgency of the web site has worked. He said, "Unfortunately some of the animals do have to get euthanized, but we've been very fortunate with the assistance of pet finders, as a matter of fact last we had 32 animals that were adopted in one day." Many times Carter is forced to hold more animals than the ten-cage facility can hold. However, with the help of the health department, 60 new cages will be added by spring "It will be more fair to the animals, they'll have more room, and hopefully it will lead to more assistance here at animal control," Carter said. The Health Department is proposing an extension of the required holding time before euthanization from 72 hours to five days. That would give pet owners more time to reclaim their lost animals, and give the animals more of a chance to find a loving home. Carter and Jason Bryant are the only two animal control officers in Bladen County and they have a big job for just two men.
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