Tuscola Woman Using Facebook to Find Animals Homes and Raise Money for Shelter

TUSCOLA - The Douglas County Animal Control and Shelter usually houses some animals outside, but with this cold snap it's hard on them.  There are more dogs than usual, so it can get crowded bringing all the animals inside.

One woman is helping the shelter out by finding homes for those animals and also raising money for the shelter.

Peg Raney is a stay at home mom who has a passion for taking care of animals.  For the past two months, she's been helping the Tuscola shelter find dogs new owners, and marketing the furry pets on Facebook.

"I am on Facebook 24/7 it seems," explained Raney.  "I'm trying to get full adoptions going and just telling people about all the programs."

The shelter has an adoption program in which people can take the dogs home and see what it's like.  If everything works out, they then adopt the them. 

Raney has helped 3 dogs find a home and has also fostered 3 dogs herself.  She said she saw the need and it just compelled her to do what she could.

"When I find out there's a sick dog out there, I've brought those dogs in and I fund-raise on my Facebook Page to anybody that I can," said Raney.

The shelter said it currently has 23 dogs, which is a high number, but not over capacity.  The most they've ever seen is 39 dogs.  With the frigid temperatures, workers said they make sure the dogs come in at night, but that it can get crowded in the building. 

Vincent Picazo, one of the two full time employees who takes care of the shelter, said it can be difficult to juggle the many different hats.

"Everyone one of these dogs are my dogs, and we want to put them in good homes," said Picazo.

With only two employees not only are they picking up animals, but also taking them to the vet, cleaning, and taking care of all the management.  Picazo said they rely on volunteers and have about 5 steady helpers.  He said they truly appreciate Raney's help marketing the shelter.

"She's volunteering time free of charge so I commend her for everything she's done, I think her every opportunity I get," explained Picazo.  "We could use a county full of volunteers like her to be quite honest with you."

Picazo said financially they're doing well, and that the county gave them $11,000 extra for 2012.  He said that roughly brings up their annual budget to about $75,000, but they still rely on donations to take care of the animals, and keep the shelter running.

"I don't think I'm taking a leadership role, I just think Vince is really busy and he has a lot to take care of out here, I'm just doing what I can on this end," said Raney.

For more information about adopting, donating or volunteering at the Douglas County Animal Control and Shelter Click Here  or call 217-253-4991.

Raney said several local businesses are also hosting fundraisers for the shelter, she has posted the information on her Facebook.

-Pix by Haley Photography Studio is hosting a photo shoot on Jan. 28th and 29th. Half of the proceeds go to the Douglas County Shelter.  For more information click here

- Atwood Armory and Scentsy by Charidy Louden Butcher has a fundraiser going on for the shelter.  For more information click here.

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