Our view: Help the shelter in time of need

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, April 15, 2017

One of the perks — or sometimes obstacle — of working in a newsroom is the constant background noise. Usually, that noise comes from the scanner that picks up all emergency calls in Clark and sometimes surrounding counties. Somedays the information coming across the scanner is more useful for our jobs that others. Then there are days when you listen with concern as things unfold.

Thursday evening the call came over the scanner that there was a fire at the Clark County Animal Shelter. Initially, there wasn’t much more information. Slowly we learned the fire started in the laundry room, it was spreading and that the employees made it out safely.

As one reporter made his way to the scenes, others waited back in the office and listened for news about the animals.

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That news never came, but we were able to confirm through sources on the scene that the animal shelter staff reacted quickly to get all the animals out of the building before the fire spread. Shelter officials reported that a couple dogs are being monitored for smoke inhalation, but are expected to recover in a few days.

Thankfully, the fire, which seemed to be caused by some blankets laying near the water heater, was contained primarily to the laundry room and there were no injuries.

Sadly, there was some damage to the facility. The fire and smoke primarily affected the interior of the original shelter building and officials said the level of damage is still being assessed.

We want to commend the shelter staff for remaining calm, acting fast and protecting the animals. Situations like this are proof of how important it can be to have an emergency plan in place.

These individuals had to take their task of protecting Clark County’s animals in need a step further this week. We are lucky things didn’t get out of hand.

The animal shelter has struggled in recent years to maintain the facility with a small budget and growing needs. When something like this happens, that adds fuel to the fire (no pun intended) of an already difficult situation.

With the recent events, the shelter is in need of Clorox bleach, liquid laundry detergent and towels or blankets. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter, Advanced Turf Equipment, The Williams Agency and Community Trust Bank of Winchester.

We encourage the community to rally around the shelter and its staff which does an excellent job that typically goes unnoticed. It’s times like these that community support is really needed.