Home for the Holidays

November 15 - December 31, all adoption fees will be 50% off. Like you, we believe that every animal deserves a home. As we approach the holidays, we particularly wish for every animal at our shelter to have the safety and love of a home. Adopting them sooner than later gives them time to acclimate to the home and family routines before the hustle and bustle ramps up. Adoption almost always brings some confusion and stress to an animal, so whatever we can do to lessen their adjustment time and make it less stressful is the goal. If you are considering adopting a pet as a gift, we encourage you to consider sponsoring the adoption fee and including the person who will be responsible for the pet’s care in the adoption decision. This ensures a good match of adopter and pet and helps ensure a smoother transition for everyone. Let’s get all of our pets home for the holidays!

Christmas Bazaar and Off-Site Adoption Event

December is just around the corner and our furry friends at the Randolph County Humane Society have already sent their wish lists to Santa in hopes of a forever home this Christmas.

Come join them, along with the friendly shelter staff and volunteers, as we welcome in the holiday season at the third annual Elkins Community Christmas Bazaar.

The event, which is slated for 10 am-5 pm on December 7, has become a popular community event featuring a unique collection of vendors selling a great range of gifts and products. 

RCHS has been part of the Bazaar since its inception and will be onsite again this year in a variety of roles. 

Adoptable pets will be available from 10 am-2 pm.  After shopping the Bazaar for gifts for your loved ones, don't forget to stop by the offsite adoption area! You may meet your new best friend and make it the best Christmas ever!

Santa is expected to drop in between 11 am and 1 pm. Don't miss this opportunity to bring the little ones to visit with the big man in red and make sure they've made the nice list! RCHS will offer family pictures with Santa.  Donations are encouraged.

As always, RCHS will be selling shelter merchandise throughout the event. New short and long sleeve shirt designs, sweatshirts, calming spray, paw salve, lip balm and bandannas will be available for purchase.  Come find the perfect gift while supporting the animals in our care!

If you come to support us, make sure to check out everything the Elkins Community Christmas Bazaar has to offer.  The event will feature other attractions throughout the day, which will conclude with free cookies and cocoa while we light up the Phil Gainer Community Center Christmas Tree! 
In The News
The City of Elkins presented the Randolph County Humane Society with a check for $5,000 for its Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return (TNVR) program. The program focuses on sterilizing and vaccinating community cats not owned by anyone. This proven approach curbs reproduction, vaccinates against diseases, and reduces nuisance behaviors such as roaming, vocalizing, and property destruction exhibited by unsterilized cats.

In 2019 to date, RCHS has sterilized 32 cats within the city limits. This proposal will allow RCHS to TNVR approximately 65 more. Those cats will be identified through strategic analysis of the current waiting list and from data gathered through the shelter’s geo-tracking of existing colonies in order to result in the greatest impact on the population. This effort is a demonstration of the City’s commitment to being a Humane City, a partnership agreed to in 2016 between the City and RCHS.

If you have questions about the program, please contact Shelter Manager Kelly Scheidegger at 304-636-7844.

President's Message

Welcome to our newest outreach effort to provide information about what’s happening at RCHS, how you can be involved and support us, and education pieces to make your life with your pets happy, safe, and fulfilling!

If you have topics you’d like us to address, please let us know. In addition to caring for the abandoned, abused, neglected, and homeless animals in Randolph County, we also want to be your resource to help keep your relationship with your pet positive, healthy, and safe.

As a small non-profit organization, we couldn’t do any of those things without financial support raised through grants and individual donations. Here are some facts about RCHS:
  • Annual budget of over $300,000
  • Serve all of Randolph County, and have an agreement with the County Commission to serve as their partner for animal services
  • Employ 9 staff
  • Serve approximately 1,000 animals per year
  • Capacity of approximately 150 animals
  • Serve the occasional rabbit, snake, mouse, rat, bird, chicken, goat, and pig
  • Are always seeking volunteers to assist with a wide variety of activities and programs, including Board leadership, dog walking, cat cuddling, event support, and much more!
That’s just a snapshot of our organization. Through this newsletter, our website ( and our Facebook page (Randolph County Humane Society of Elkins, WV), we hope you will learn more about our work and perhaps find a way you can lend a hand.

Currently we are seeking people who are interested in serving at the Board level. Perhaps you have skills and have been thinking about how you can give back to the community in return for all the blessings in your own life.  If you’ve ever considered how you might support the shelter at this level, please reach out to one of the current Board members.

We are: 
  • Tina Vial, President
  • Renee Heckel, VP of Fundraising*
  • Kristie Stalnaker, VP of Operations*
  • Jenna Lee, VP of Outreach
  • Katie Bright, Treasurer
  • Brooke Hart, Secretary*
  • Laura Ferguson
  • Lisa Preusch
  • Carrie Shupp
             *Effective January 1, 2020

Thank you for all the ways you support everything we do! Without our community of individuals and businesses who give financially, sponsor events, donate items for raffles or auction, remember us in estate planning, work events, walk dogs and cuddle cats, drop coins in coin boxes around town, assist with maintenance, donate supplies, simply write a check, or one of a gazillion other things, we could not do our work. So, in this season of gratitude for all we’ve been given, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And may your holidays be blessed beyond measure, filled with peace, and bring joy to your hearts!

Tina Vial, President
As a United Way agency, we suspend fundraising events in October, November and December while the United Way engages in their fundraising efforts that support all of their participating agencies – including us.
Watch for information on our 2020 events in coming issues, and in the meantime, please support the United Way!
Why should you microchip your pet?

One of the most effective means of protecting your dog or cat from being lost or stolen is microchipping them.

The American Humane Society estimates over 10 million dogs or cats are reported lost each year. Unfortunately, a large percentage of those lost pets are never returned to their owner. There could be a number of reasons for the failure to reunite, but top of the list is the inability to identify and contact the owner.

Microchips are tiny computer chips, about the size of a grain of rice. They are implanted under your pet’s skin by a veterinarian, similar to a simple vaccination. Each microchip carries a registration number that is associated with the owner’s name and contact information. This information is added to a pet registry service offered by the chip manufacturer. There are also free services where you can register your pet’s chip number.

The registry information on the chips can be read using a handheld reader that displays the information so that the owner can be identified. Most shelters and veterinarians have these readers and can scan the pet and contact the owner if the pet is lost. RCHS has a scanner that can read the most common two chip frequencies.

Most pet owners buy their dogs and cats collars and add a name tag with the pet’s name and their phone number. These are great, but outdated. They can easily break, fall off, or even the name or phone number can wear off of the tag over time. The microchip is permanent and can’t be separated from the pet.

If your dog or cat is lost or stolen, the chip and its registration is definitive proof of ownership. This is particularly helpful in the case of stolen pets when ownership might be in dispute.

A chip greatly increases the likelihood that your pet will be returned to you if they are lost. Several recent studies show that cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owner and chipped dogs are returned 2.5 more than unchipped dogs. That’s a pretty significant difference, and with over 10 million pets being lost each year, you want to do everything you can to ensure your pet finds its way back to your home.

Some chip manufacturers are enhancing the chips capabilities and adding functionality. Innovations we have seen is the ability to program the chip to open your dog door only when your dog approaches. This can be helpful in keeping out stray critters that may find their way into your home. Some manufacturers also offer lost pet alerting services and even travel assistance for folks who like to take their pets along on their holiday.

Finally, microchips last a lifetime. Once implanted, you don’t have to worry about them, although it is a good idea to have your vet scan your pet each year to guard against any malfunction.
Adapted from

Interested in Volunteering?

Here's how to get started...

“I could never work at the shelter. I love animals too much. I don’t know how you do it.” We hear this statement a lot. You love your pets and can’t imagine them without a home and someone to love them. You would want to bring them all home with you. It would be too sad, too up close and personal.

RCHS staff and volunteers love and care about our own pets, too. Our dedication to all animals comes from the same place yours does. That’s what drives us to advocate for animals who are less fortunate than your pets and our own. If not we animal lovers, then who will stand for them?

Yes, you will want to bring them all home. Yes, initially, you might feel sad. You will wonder if you can really do this. YES, you can! After a few volunteer experiences, you will shape your expectations and perspective and realize that you are making a meaningful difference in the daily lives of our residents and will appreciate the importance of our mission. Each week we share happy adoption stories and watch shy, mistreated, and traumatized animals come out of their shells to greet the world with hope, a purr, and a wag. It is very rewarding to play a part in these happy transformations and more often than not, we leave the shelter smiling! We can’t deny that we share heartache and discouragement, but we also share great joy! You can be part of that.

If you have ever considered how you might get involved as an RCHS volunteer, we would love to hear from you! You can go to our website at, click on “Volunteer” and complete the Volunteer Inquiry Form. Our Volunteer Coordinator will get back with you with next steps. Here are areas where volunteers are needed:

  • Animal bathing and grooming
  • Dog walking, socializing
  • Cat cuddling and play
  • Laundry
  • Dish washing
  • Kennel and facility cleaning
  • Photography
  • Organizing supplies, office work
  • Grounds keeping, lawn care
  • Repair work-lighting, plumbing
  • Carpentry
  • Fundraising Committee work
  • Sign/Poster distribution and removal 
  • Donating needed supplies such as blankets, towels, newspapers, cleaning materials, cat litter, food
  • Funds solicitor
  • Animal sponsorship (pay for the cost of spay/neuter and adoption fees for an adoptable animal)
  • Work at fundraising events and off-site adoption events
  • Serve on the Board
Children must be 15 or older to volunteer unsupervised.
Dog walking is every Sunday, Monday,
and Wednesday at 10 am.  Come join us!
How Can I Donate to RCHS? . . . So Many Ways
Running an animal shelter is very expensive, and we couldn’t do it without your support! There are a variety of ways you can donate financially to the shelter: cash, check, credit card, even including RCHS in your estate planning. You will receive a receipt for your tax records for any donations, whether they are cash gifts or gifts in kind. Here are some ways to support our work:

Estate Planning
Remembering RCHS in your will or naming us as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy can be a very meaningful way to leave a legacy supporting our mission in your name. Talk with your attorney or financial planner about the best way to do this. It is easier than you think, and it can mean a world of difference in assuring RCHS can continue its work for years to come. It would be helpful for us to know if you have done this so that we can make note for our own planning. Please speak with one of our staff or Board members if you have questions or to let us know your plans.

Kroger Plus Card
You can also designate RCHS as your charity of choice on your Kroger Plus card. Kroger then donates a percentage of each grocery purchase to us! It doesn’t affect your total grocery bill or your fuel points. It is just a way that Kroger helps support their community.

Amazon Smile  
Whenever you shop on Amazon, use  instead. Designate Randolph County Humane Society as your charity of choice. Be sure it is the one in Elkins, WV, as there are others with the same name in other states. RCHS will receive a check from Amazon based on your purchases.

We also accept all kinds of supplies.

In addition, there are cleaning supplies, office supplies, medical supplies, and lots of other items that we use on a daily basis to help keep the animals happy and healthy.

Every week RCHS uses:
Shelter Wishlist
  • Cat & dog food (bags and cans)
  • Cat & dog treats
  • Cat & dog toys
  • Pet beds
  • Cat litter (clumping & non-clumping)
  • Frontline/Advantage flea control
  • Leashes & collars
  • Copy paper, pens, paperclips, clip boards
  • Trash bags (kitchen size, 39-gallon, 55-gallon)
  • Blankets & towels
  • Rugs
  • Cleaning supplies, including:
    • Mops
    • Brooms
    • Laundry detergent
    • Bleach
    • Paper towels
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adopt me!

Click here to read more about the cats and dogs featured below and to see additional animals ready to go to their furever home.
Silver, salt & pepper Hound
One year old
Black & white Shorthair
3 years old
Brindle Plott Hound
3 years old
Manx Tortie
14 months old

Meet her at Elkins City Hall, Off-site adoption partner
Tan, yellow & fawn Pit Bull Terrier
6 years old
Black Shorthair
3 years old
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Copyright © 2019 Randolph County Humane Society, All rights reserved.

195 Weese Street Extension
PO Box 785
Elkins, WV 26241

Phone: ​(304) 636-7844

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