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Bladen Animal Shelter Awarded $50,000 Petco Foundation Grant

Bladen County Animal Control supervisor Karen Suggs, center, during her recognition ceremony with Bladen County Commissioner Chairman Charles Ray Peterson, left, and Bladen County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Terri Duncan

Quick action by Karen Suggs is expected to save the lives of many animals in Bladen County.

The Bladen Animal Shelter has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Petco Foundation, it was announced Monday night at the Bladen County commissioner’s meeting.

Suggs, who is the supervisor of the county shelter, learned about the pet supply company’s program and immediately filled out an application. Three days later, she learned that Bladen County had received the grant.

Bladen County commissioners recognized Suggs during its regularly scheduled meeting in the Bladen County Courthouse. She was presented with a plaque and a bonus check by Chairman Charles Ray Peterson.

“It will benefit all of the animals,” Suggs said. “It will give us a separate area for the puppies away from the other dogs. It will give us a quarantine area.”

Bladen County Animal Shelter is an open door facility that provides shelter and care to stray and surrendered animals. It’s located at 506 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown next to the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center. Adoption hours are Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m. The phone number is 910-862-6918.

“The quarantine area will help decrease the length of time that dogs stay in the shelter due to illness and decreases the number of dogs euthanized due to illness,” Bladen County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Terri Duncan said. “The ultimate goal is to have happier, healthier dogs become ready for adoption quicker.

“We are grateful to the Petco Foundation for the monies provided, and especially to Karen Suggs, who took the initiative to apply for the grant and whose passion for the animals is evident each and every day in her work.”

Since 2010, the live release rate has increased by 7% at the shelter, according to Bladen County Animal Control.

“I can honestly say that I love my job,” Suggs said. “You have to love your job in the animal control field or you don’t need to be there. I have a wonderful staff, co-workers, boss, and I’m just very grateful.”

Commissioners approved $7,300 to hire part-time help at the shelter.

The Petco Foundation has awarded more than $250 million since 1999 through its grant program.


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