Finding a forever home


Posted on Mar 16 2024 in Jay County REMC
Aaron Orr
Animal Control Officer Aaron Orr gives a treat to one of the shelter’s residents.

By Carly Nichols

In the summer of 2021, my then 12-year-old had his heart set on a puppy. His focus was firmly set on an expensive breed like a pug, while mom and dad were leaning towards a shelter rescue. Out of the blue, a Winchester/Randolph County Animal Shelter post popped up on my Facebook page for a large litter of Lab/Blue Tick mix puppies that each needed a home. One picture of these pups and my son was sold.

We had such a great experience that I wanted to highlight the shelter this month. Animal Control Officer Aaron Orr runs the shelter and is the director. With two hats to wear as Animal Control and director, Orr is thankful to have a part-time employee who helps clean, feed, and walk the animals. This also allows him to ensure his office is covered while bringing in strays.

Employed through Winchester, the shelter receives some funding from the city. They also have a contract with Randolph County, which helps with expenses. Even with these funds, donations from the community are always welcomed, appreciated, and put to good use.

Another way in which community members can help this local shelter is by keeping pets contained on their property. “Many times, we get dogs people see alongside the road and bring them to us even though they were actually right in front of their own house,” Orr says. By ensuring your pet is fenced in, on a lead, or wearing an invisible fence collar, there will be less chance for your animal to be mistaken for a stray.

The shelter is a temporary home for stray cats and dogs. When a cat or dog is found, the shelter posts the animal on Facebook, and they attempt to reconnect that animal with a family if it has one. According to Indiana law, animals are kept for 10 days. Then, when the search and timeframe have elapsed, they work toward finding the animal a home.

Currently, the shelter has seven animals, which Orr says is an average number they would have on hand. However, you can rest assured that this shelter will never euthanize animals due to overcapacity.

The process is simple if you are interested in finding your fur-ever rescue. “Come in and take a look at the pets, fill out the application, and generally, if everything is okay, they can take a dog home with them that day,” says Orr. The $150 adoption fee includes the animal being spayed or neutered, heartworm testing, up-to-date shots, and a basic vet check.

The Winchester/Randolph County Animal Shelter is always looking for volunteers. If you would like help, you can contact them at 765-305-1500. If you are looking for a pet, you can see the animals on their Facebook page or in person from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. They will also make weekend and evening appointments to fit your schedule. The shelter is located at 900 N. West St. in Winchester.

Leo has been waiting for his fur-ever family. Call 765-305-1500 to ask the shelter about adopting him.

CARLY NICHOLS is marketing and communication coordinator at Jay County REMC.