ALLIE DOUGLASS | The Sun
Volunteer Terry Katzman plays with one of her favorite dogs, Shaggy, on Saturday afternoon during an open house at the McCracken County Humane Society. Shaggy is a wire-haired terrier mix and is available for adoption at 4000 Coleman Road.
ALLIE DOUGLASS | The Sun
Volunteer Terry Katzman plays with one of her favorite dogs, Shaggy, on Saturday afternoon during an open house at the McCracken County Humane Society. Shaggy is a wire haired terrier mix and is available for adoption at 4000 Coleman Road.
Big changes for the animals of the McCracken County Humane Society were celebrated with an open house on Saturday.
The public was invited to the humane society at 4000 Coleman Road to tour the newly remodeled facility, learn about policy and procedure changes, visit with staff members and meet some of the animals up for adoption.
Three new policies are intended to make animals more safe and comfortable. First, the shelter’s capacity is about 60 dogs and 25 cats; once it is reached, no more can be accepted.
Next, only owner-surrendered animals are accepted after a health assessment.
Finally, only staff members, not volunteers, may open animal cages for prospective adopting customers.
James Shumaker, board president, said the changes are vital for the safety and care of animals. Making the biggest impact on the animals will be the maximum capacity change.
“We simply had more than we could handle, we had to take any animal brought to us, and we began to get overrun,” Shumaker said.
Volunteer Terry Katzman said a vast improvement of the animals’ living conditions has come with the cutback.
“We used to have five or six dogs to a pen, and now it’s down to one,” Katzman said. “The animals get much more personalized care.”
Closely caring for the animals for two years, Katzman admits to growing attached to many of them.
“I always grow fond of the animals, particularly the ones who have been here longer,” she said while holding and petting one of her favorite shelter residents, a dog named Shaggy.
“So it can be bittersweet to see them go.”
The entire staff, including humane society Director Terry Vannerson, has high expectations for the future of the animals under the new rules and conditions.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the animals,” Vannerson said.
Zombies take over Broadway,
help the needy
Zombies trailed along Broadway in a three-block horde Saturday as part of the annual Paducah Zombie Walk.
First-year organizer Garrett Dykes said nearly 200 zombies limped and dragged themselves through this year’s event.
“It was a lot larger than I thought it would be, but that’s a good thing,” Dykes said. “We got a lot of canned goods and monetary donations. It’s just been a great turnout, probably the best we’ve had. We need more volunteers next year.”
Volunteer Kyle Washburn said monetary and canned food donations appeared to be up this year. Dykes said on Sunday that the event brought in more than 100 food items for the Family Service Society of Paducah.
Kris Denson, three-time winner for best zombie, stepped back from competing this year to help with makeup and costume judging. Denson said the event has continued to grow.
“On our walk we were covering three blocks just with the line,” Denson said. “I’ve never seen that in all the years we’ve done it. It was great.”
Murray State University students Paige Middleton, Gabrielle Wibbenmeyer and Caleb Dahne came as a group for their first zombie walk.
Smash-a-car held to honor,
Something strangely therapeutic lies within taking a sledgehammer to a car window, and it’s precisely that unexpected venting of frustrations that went through Pat Sparks as she lifted her hammer to a car festooned with the words “smash cancer.”
As part of a fundraiser for the McCracken County Relay For Life, employees at LYNX Services opted for the slightly different smash-a-car charity in honor of Sparks — a development leader at LYNX — and to promote awareness about pancreatic cancer, which Sparks has fought more than four months.
“This event was right up my alley if you knew me because this is something I would think of,” Sparks said. “When they told me about it, I said you all know me really well.”
Sparks was diagnosed with stage IIB pancreatic cancer in June after noticing ulcer-like symptoms only three months previously.
With November recognized as National Pancreatic Awareness Month, Sparks said she hopes more people will learn about the disease, which is the nation’s fourth-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
Participants of the smash-a-car donated $5 to take three whacks at the junker Chevrolet Corsica using a small arsenal of hammers and bats.