Clermont County Animal Shelter reopens Friday as no-kill, open admission shelter

BATAVIA, Ohio -- There is a new team in place to protect dogs and cats in Clermont County, and its members have some very big goals. 

Clermont Animal CARE Humane Society is the new operator at the Clermont County Animal Shelter, and remodeling at the shelter is almost complete. The group plans to operate it as a no-kill, open admission shelter. 

"It's an ambitious goal," Clermont Animal CARE President Cindy Unkenholt said. "We're going to need our community, our partners, our volunteers all to do that with us."

The group was formed by a variety of animal rescue organizations from Greater Cincinnati. 

Renee Bates will manager the shelter.

"What this shelter is going to be about is reaching out to the community, and the community reaching out to us," she said.

"No-kill" means at least a 90 percent save rate for the animals brought to the shelter. "Open admission" means helping owners find solutions to keeping their dogs or cats at home. 

"That might be a trip to the food pantry, a spay and neuter clinic, all kinds of different ways," Unkenholt said. 

If that doesn't work out and pets wind up at the shelter, they have partnerships with the community. 

One of their partnerships is with the group Recycled Doggies. Their president, Shannon DeBra, just took a blind dog, Nova Lee, into her home for foster care until a "forever home" can be found. 

DeBra said she's on board with the shelter's new direction. 

"More dogs will be moving out. They'll get the vet care they need," she said. "They'll be getting the socialization that they need."

Donations will be a lifeline of the shelter's success. Plenty of people have already stepped up. The next step is education on how people can keep their animals.

"We're going to be reaching out to the community with a number of things: education, spay-neuter, training, medical help," Bates said. 

The shelter will open to the public at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

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