Down East Seniors learn about animal shelter

Published 1:43 pm Friday, July 29, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its July 27 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Chip Ide led the singing of “God Bless America,” and Ed Bolen gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Hamrick introduced Aaron Gaskins, animal control officer with the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Shelter. Gaskins has held this position for six months and was very enthusiastic about his work. He is not a law officer, but he has assisted the sheriff’s office by removing dogs from an illegal meth lab. He said the shelter has 28 dog runs and 49 cat cages. These would be very inadequate for the number of animals they bring in were it not for the humane society and other volunteers assisting in maintaining a 75-percent adoption rate. Shelter personnel and volunteers clean the runs and cages each morning from 8 a.m. to noon. The shelter opens to the public at 1 p.m. Animal control officers enforce animal laws and call in the sheriff’s office when there is a felony violation. They investigate all animal bite cases, quarantine the biting animal to determine if it is rabid and work with the health department to be sure the bitten person receives needed medical care. This is necessary to help prevent people from getting rabies, a disease for which there is no cure and is always fatal. People can be successfully treated for rabies before symptoms appear. Three rabid animals have been found in Beaufort County this year. Animal control is on call for emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mark Eakes won the 50/50 drawing.