Lewis County Humane Society: Lots of pets, not people

Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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GLENFIELD, New York (WWNY) - It’s overflowing with pets, but not with people.

The Lewis County Humane Society is experiencing a serious staffing shortage and hoping for help.

With only four dedicated staff members, the Humane Society is working overtime to tend to the 136 animals under its roof.

“I feel like we can’t spend as much time with the animals as we want to. The staff doesn’t really get much of a break. There’s not much of a personal life here,” said Amber Zehr, who manages the shelter.

Zehr says being shorthanded equates to a long work week with regular overtime. Staff members often have to come in on their days off.

The resident dogs and cats require a lot of attention.

“You have someone doing dogs, cats, open hours and then dogs at night. That’s four people that have to be here basically every day where someone’s covering the two shifts so you don’t ever really get a break,” Zehr said.

That said, staff members love the animals.

“It’s a lot more than just cuddling the animals and stuff. It’s a lot of mental and emotional strain some days. It’s one of the most rewarding jobs at the same time,” said Kelsey Morak, one of the shelter’s staff members.

The shelter is looking for more than just paid staff - volunteers are also welcome. Currently it receives weekly assistance from members of the ARC, who clean, do laundry and play with the cats.

“If you’re interested in helping out at the Humane Society, Amber says all you have to do is stop by. They’re at 6390 Pine Grove Road in Glenfield, and their phone is 315-376-8349.