Let me start by saying that people who volunteer at animal shelters are amazing. They deal with some of the stinkiest situations you could think of. They are highly underappreciated, in my opinion, especially in situations like the one that happened at the SPCA of Hancock County this past week.
Now, it's bad enough when one dog gets sprayed by a skunk.
But can you imagine what kind of an undertaking dealing with the aftermath of a kennel FULL of dogs would be?
The folks at the SPCA don't have to imagine that. They got to live that nightmare!
"The shelter had a special guest the other day - a juvenile skunk thought it would check out the available dogs. It seemed to feel that they were all in need of a bath, so it gave them all a squirt of eau de skunk. JD and the other dogs weren't so pleased with the baths, but all the dogs are squeaky clean now."
Cole Mastroserio, shelter manager, said the skunk got in at some point on Monday evening.
"The skunk seemed to have come in overnight through the fencing near the dog adoption center Monday night, so it was found Tuesday morning. Our dogs have two-part kennels so they can have an area for sleeping, playing, and eating, and an area to do their business if they are not able to hold it until the next time they are brought to the yard. We thought since it was a decent night, we would leave their access to their outer kennels open (they are still secured behind fencing with this system but it gives them more space). Well, that set them up to be sprayed! A skunk slid past the outer fencing into the hallway, and it was terrifying to meet all these dogs. Of course, they couldn't reach it through their kennels, so it seemed to spend a good chunk of time spraying them and the outer kennels to let them know it wasn't defenseless."
Mastroserio was scheduled to have a day off Tuesday but went right back into work to help.
"Staff arrives at the facility early in the morning, no later than 7 am, and volunteers often arrive soon after that. Our crew was met with a smelly smell and quickly found the skunk hiding in the corner of the outer kennel hallway, terrified and worrying about how it was ever going to get outside again. They led it back out with wet dog food and contacted the rest of the staff via our group chat to let us know about the surprise visitor."
"This totally derailed feeding and cleaning for the day. Normally we can operate on a skeleton staff with volunteer support on Tuesdays since we are closed to the public. Our volunteers jumped up to the occasion, though, and went the extra mile to help us make sure the rest of the facility was cared for while we tried to get rid of the skunk smell in dog land. One of our amazing dog volunteers, Kim, spent the morning cleaning most of the dog kennels, laundry, and dishes herself, while another super volunteer, Fred, handled cleaning cat cages and rooms with vigor. We are so thankful for our volunteers."
What an undertaking that must have been. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Sometimes Nature can be a real pain in the butt.
Kudos to the volunteers and staff for taking such great care of those pups, and for soldiering through the smell.
What a job well done!
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