Rescued shelter dog


Shown is a dog that have successfully completed the training program and has gone on to be adopted

WELCH — While making his report on Tuesday evening during the monthly meeting of the Bluefield Union Mission board of directors, Chuck Hammond, director of Welch-based Mission Ministries reported on something out of the ordinary that involved the McDowell County Animal Shelter.

Chuck and his wife, Debbie Hammond are volunteers with the McDowell County Humane Society. They recently adopted one of three dogs that had been rescued after they were abandoned, Chuck Hammond reported that another of the dogs that was rescued at the same time was adopted by a producer for the Rachael Ray television show, and may be featured in an upcoming broadcast.

Sharon Sagety, a volunteer with the Humane Society said the dog in question, “Duke” had gone through a training program at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson that works to house train, crate-train and improve rescued dogs socialization skills. The shelter located in Superior, has been working with the federal women’s prison in Alderson as well as the Federal Correctional Institution in Welch (FCI McDowell) on the program that helps the dogs as well as inmates.

“We currently have eight dogs in training at Alderson and six in FCI McDowell,” Sagety said. “The training is for however long it takes. Some of the dogs need more socialization skills than other dogs and others need more house training. One poodle that we had in the shelter for years was adopted right after finishing the training at FCI McDowell.”

Sagety said that she frequently works with the Hope for Hannah Rescue in Pennsylvania. I think we have sent well-over 4,000 dogs there.

“I went to Alderson and did the transports today,” she said on Friday. “It is really an amazing program that helps both the dogs and the inmates.”

One of the shelter’s rescue dogs appeared in a recent Super Bowl television commercial, but most find good homes, which thrills the unpaid volunteer staff that operate the shelter.

“We only operate through donations and with volunteer help,” she said. “It’s a challenge, but the program we have with the two prisons really helps.”

Call 304-436-2185 to learn more about how to help the McDowell County Animal Shelter.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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