Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 27, 2014

Mercer animal shelter caring for alligator, snapping turtles

PRINCETON — The Mercer County Animal Shelter is providing care to animals beyond just cats and dogs. For example, the shelter is currently housing an alligator and a horse.

Although most of the time the shelter is busy taking care of cats and dogs, they also occasionally get different animals, according to animal control officer Tracy Monninger.

“Every once in a while we will see exotic animals,” Monninger said. “Right now we are taking care of a caiman alligator and some snapping turtles. Anything exotic is kept separately from the other animals in the shelter, usually in someone’s office where they are looked after in the proper aquarium, lighting, environment and get the correct food.”

All of the animals that are picked up by animal control are checked by a vet and given the correct diet and environment. There are different guidelines on what to follow for caring for different types of animals, Monninger said.

“Just last week we had to bring 51 chickens in because they were not properly cared for,” Monninger said.

The shelter is also home to two ponies and one horse, which are looking for their new forever homes, Monninger said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

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