2012-06-26 / Front Page

Owen Humane Society Shelter Operating Under New Director

Changes Have Been Made To The Shelter’s Daily Operating Hours
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer

N ew Owen County Humane Society Director Steve Buckman walks “Jack,” a two-year-old Cataloopa mix, Monday morning along rural Romona Road. 
(Staff Photo) N ew Owen County Humane Society Director Steve Buckman walks “Jack,” a two-year-old Cataloopa mix, Monday morning along rural Romona Road. (Staff Photo) On the job for just his fourth day on Monday, June 18, new Owen County Humane Society Director Steve Buckman has already adjusted the shelter’s operating hours to better accommodate the working public.

The Bloomington native, who has an extensive background in working with animals, including dog training, says he was seeking a career change when he signed on to manage the local no-kill shelter.

“The biggest thing we’ve done is change the shelter’s operating hours. The shelter has always been closed on Monday and Tuesday and that will continue,” he said. “We looked at all of the humane societies around the area and thought their operating hours were inconvenient for the public, because most people are at work. Hopefully our new Friday and Saturday hours will help families who are looking to adopt cats or dogs be able to get in here.”

The shelter is open Wednesday and Thursday from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m., and on Friday from 12 noon until 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, the shelter will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Sundays will find the shelter open from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m.

“We’ve got a lot of dogs here who have been here for a long time, so I’m in the process of evaluating those guys and gals to see if some of them can be rehabbed in house and adopted out. We want to make good calls on ones that will be good family pets, and then some may go to rescues or some other kind of animal sanctuary,” Buckman said. “Basically the other issue was, there wasn’t a lot of movement in the facility – dogs come in and they stay – so we’re full.”

He said another primary focus of the shelter will be to find volunteers to work in a variety of capacities for the OCHS.

“Whether they like to work with the public or directly with the animals, even if they can only work an hour or two a day, we can tailor their time to whatever they are interested in doing,” Buckman said. “I hope to get a training program going for the volunteers within the next month to teach them how to work with the dogs using positive reinforcement efforts. We’ll get dog play groups going, and down the road I would hope we can offer some training classes for the public so that when they adopt a dog they aren’t just on their own. We also want to work with them to ensure a good match between their family and an animal. I think sometimes people get so enthused with the dog and fall in love with the looks that they may not have considered the needs of the dog. Is it a dog who needs a ton of exercise and stimulation, or is it a dog that will happily sleep on the couch all day long?”

For more information, contact the Owen County Humane Society by calling 829-6247. The shelter is located at 2014 Romona Road, northeast of Spencer.

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