Pitt County Animal Services program wins state award

Pitt County Animal Services program wins state award
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Pitt County Animal Services’ Mutt Strutters program has been named in the top 10 of a state innovation award.

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, with Civic Federal Credit Union, holds a conference every year where they give ten Civic Excellence in Innovation awards. Mutt Strutters was one of the winners in 2022.

Pitt County says the county’s animal services is seeing adoption rates climb, euthanasia rates decrease, and shelter pets benefit from physical activity.

PCAS adoption rates
PCAS adoption rates(Pitt County Public Information Office)

WITN is told this program was started as a partnership between PCAS and Dr. Melanie Sartore-Baldwin, associate professor of kinesiology at ECU, as a for-credit service-learning opportunity. It allows dogs to socialize more than they normally would by simply being in a cage, thus becoming more likely to get adopted.

The Mutt Strutters program teaches dogs how to interact with humans. The dogs are walked on leashes and played with to make sure they are ready for adoption in the future. The program also allows students and volunteers to give back to the community and advocate for shelter animals.

“In conjunction with students and faculty of the Department of Kinesiology at ECU, Animal Services is able to carry out this mission by operating a service-learning dog-walking program at the shelter,” Miranda Guinn, animal shelter supervisor said. “The goal is to improve the health and well-being of shelter pets, as well as that of the students and volunteers.”

The county says many students continue to volunteer with the shelter even after finishing their class.

Click here to watch a video about the Pitt County Mutt Stutters.

To become a Mutt Strutter or make a donation, people are asked to call PCAS at 252-902-1725.

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