OAK HILL — From 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 12, the New River Humane Society aided Fayette County pet owners with its second no-contact drive-through pickup event.

The event, in the Oak Hill Tractor Supply parking lot, gave local pet owners the supplies they need to care for their animals, as many of them struggle to care for themselves due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is just a way for us to help our community in a different way,” shared NRHS Board President Kathy Gerencer.

“We wanted to be proactive and do whatever we could do to help pet owners to get them what they needed. This pandemic crisis is really worrisome, and now people are out of work and have bills that need paid and things like that. We want to be a resource to help pet owners.”

After receiving a sizable pet supply donation from GreaterGood.org — an independent 501(c)(3) organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets and the planet, the shelter executed a trial run event at the Fayette County Park in early May.

According to Gerencer, the donation included cat and dog food, as well as food for chickens, rabbits and other animals.

Through the first event, 80 dogs and 70 cats were helped. Volunteers included shelter board members and their families, friends of the shelter, and some of county political figures.

For this event, the shelter wanted to be in a more central location and sought out Tractor Supply, which Gerencer says is also generous to the shelter.

Because the event was a no-contact one, individuals were asked to remain inside their vehicles while volunteers wearing all the appropriate PPE garments loaded the supplies, which included cat and dog food, cat litter and possibly some toys and treats.

The shelter also asked that anyone picking up supplies wear a mouth and nose covering of some kind.

NRHS was able to fund this donation through two small grants: one from Petfinder Foundation and the other from Adopt-a-Pet.

The grants state that the shelter must target Fayette County residents, and while the shelter was looking to do just that, Gerencer said they wouldn’t turn someone from another county away if they were in need.

With the help of GreaterGood.org, Petfinder Foundation, and Adopt-a-Pet, NRHS has enough supplies to host more donation events in the future.

“Our next target area is the valley. We don’t have a date, but we do have more supplies coming — possibly at the end of June or early July,” Gerencer shared. “We hope to carry these events in various locations in the county.”

Although the event was primarily a donation pickup event, it also served as a donation drop-off opportunity for anyone who wanted to donate supplies to the shelter.

“We are seeking any and all donations to help us care for the animals at the Fayette County Animal Control Center,” the facility stated, adding that its current needs include canned and dry kitten food, canned and dry puppy food, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant spray, hand soap, hand sanitizer, dish soap, laundry detergent, 30-gallon or larger trash bags, and bleach.

Individuals can also drop off donations directly to the shelter or order supplies through the NRHS’s Amazon wish list. The link to the list can be found on the New River Humane Society Fayette County Animal Control Center-WV Facebook page.

For more information visit the shelter’s Facebook page or fayettecounty.wv.gov/animal-shelter.

The Fayette County Animal Control Center is located at 513 Shelter Road in Beckwith.

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