SPENCER CO., Ky. (WHAS11) -- “This is something I am extremely passionate about,” said Paula Sparrow.
For the weekend, she is rooming with the dogs at the Spencer County Animal Shelter. The temporary living arrangements come after this University of Kentucky study listed the shelter as not providing suitable care for the animals.
“The implication was that we are not a good shelter. We are a needy shelter. Not one of the worst shelters," she explained to WHAS11.
Through Sunday, Sparrow plans to keep the dogs company – to show the conditions are not dreadful. However, she does admit the shelter needs some TLC and some space of its own. It currently shares a building with the county’s maintenance, parks and recycling departments. “We call ourselves the little shelter with big hearts," she said with a smile.
Money also seems to be an issue. Shelter Director and Animal Control Officer Melvin Gore said he’s given an annual budget of less than $100,000 which is supposed to cover the cost of two paid employees and shelter upkeep. He relies on 10 volunteers.
“We do the best we can to provide a healthy and safe environment for the dogs,” he said. Gore, along with a part-time worker, covers all of the county’s animal control calls.
Right now, there is no room to house cats or other animals, forcing him to find another place to keep them. Sparrow believes the perception of a failing facility could change with more community support and donations. “We’ll take all the help we can get," Sparrow said.
If you would like to donate to the shelter, you can call (502) 477-3332.