Cause For Paws

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mix a lively Jack Russell Terrier with a handsome Dachshund and you get … 20 active legs of cuteness. All of the legs need a home.

What would be even better? If that Jack Russell and Dachshund had been spayed and neutered. Sure, there wouldn’t be all of that cuteness running around, but there also wouldn’t be more puppies needing a home. Even worse, there wouldn’t be a need to euthanize some of the animals because the number of homes and pets don’t match.

Volunteers at the Humane Society of Davie County’s Pet Adoption Center on Eaton Road in Mocksville see it every day. Puppies and kittens, dogs and cats – all just needing someone to love them and take care of them for the rest of their lives.

There’s so many that the center, which has a no-kill policy, can’t accept them all.

On Friday, Feb. 21, the society will host its 18th annual Cause for Paws, the major fund-raising event that helps the center stay open. The goal is $20,000 – just a fraction of the cost of yearly operations.

The event will feature a silent auction, raffles, music, food and more from 6:30-10 p.m. at WinMock at Kinderton. Tickets are $40 each or $75 for a couple.

Visit or call 751-5214 to learn more or purchase a ticket. Items for sale include vacations, golf outings, tickets for The Band Perry fireworks concert in Boone and more.

In addition to offering low-cost spay and neuter services, the volunteers want to save all animals. But that takes money.

“It’s a business and has to be run like a business,” said Shea Ketcham, office manager. The center keeps about 25 dogs and 20 cats at any time. Workers try to match the right pet with the right owner. Many of the pets come from Davie County Animal Control, which also adopts animals and works closely with the adoption center.

“Those guys really love the animals and do everything they can to adopt them,” Ketcham said. “We’re a no-kill shelter. Once they’re here, they are adopted or they die of old age.”

The cost and amount of work required to take care of these animals can be staggering. Constant needs, in addition to food, are items such as cleaning supplies. Volunteers are needed just to walk and interact with the animals.

“We try to educate people about the importance of spaying and neutering. Those animals enjoy better health, and normally live longer than those who haven’t had the surgeries,” she said.

Lynn Messick, co-chair of the Cause for Paws event, said there are many ways people can help. Some children have their birthday parties at the center, and ask guests to bring gifts for the animals. Others have their parties at their home, but still ask guests to bring items for the center.

“It’s a good way for the kids to learn how to give back to the community … and they get to play with the puppies,” Messick said.

Adult group homes bring in volunteers, and the interaction works well for the pets and the humans. “They need each other,” Messick said.

“Volunteers are always needed. Shea started as a volunteer, then went to work part-time and now is the full-time office manager.”

Bayley Brummett, the society’s marketing and communications manager, keeps up with the social media – and even offers courtesy listings for people trying to find a new home for a pet. Greeting cards can be purchased online, and applications for a pet can be made there as well.

“We’re trying to reach out in all kinds of different ways,” Brummett said.

The staff knows what is about to happen. Spring is just around the corner, and that means an influx of kittens. Cats can have a litter of kittens every few months.

“It’s heartbreaking of the number of kittens we have to turn away,” Ketcham said. “There’s not enough people to adopt all of the kittens.”

They take the motto “Where Matching Pets and People Is Our Business” seriously. You can’t just walk in and walk out with an animal.

“You have to look at it as, this is your family,” Ketcham said. They look at past experiences with pets and veterinarians. They look at lifestyles. If you’re renting, expect to provide proof that the landlord allows pets.

Male volunteers are needed to help walk the larger dogs, and to give animals a chance to be around loving men. Most animals that are abused are at the hands of men, Ketcham said. “It takes males to help bring them back to be loving. They just need time, patience and love.”

The adoption center is at 291 Eaton Road in Mocksville. Off US 601 South (South Main Street), when leaving town, turn left after passing the railroad crossing, adjacent to a car wash.