Carbon County Animal Shelter has a new animal warden.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted to name Debbie Craver, who has been working at the shelter part-time for the last two months, as the new county animal warden, effective yesterday.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, said that Craver has been "going above and beyond" with her efforts at the shelter.

He added that the county plans to get Craver certified as the animal warden as soon as the state holds a certification class.

Craver said that she is very excited for her new position.

Some changes have been taking place at the shelter since Craver started, and she noted that she is trying to involve the community more.

"I believe the community needs to be involved if this shelter is going to survive," Craver said, adding that she is always open to suggestions from county residents on how to make the shelter, located on the Broad Mountain in Nesquehoning, better for the animals.

Craver added that the volunteer base she has worked with has been amazing as well.

"I have the best volunteers and am always looking to add more," she said.

Currently, in addition to Craver, the county employs one part-time K-9 officer and there are a group of nearly 10 volunteers who clean the kennels, and walk and feed the dogs daily. Volunteer opportunities for high school students looking for community service hours are available as well.

She noted that donations are always appreciated and the shelter's wish list is updated on its Facebook site every two weeks. Wish list items include wet dog food; squeaky dog toys; treats; tennis balls; dish detergent; bleach; laundry detergent; fabric softener; paper towels; dog flea shampoo; flea spray/treatment; brillo pads; old towels and blankets; large bones; Pinesol cleaner; and disinfectant wipes.

The shelter is open Monday through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but Craver said she usually stays until 6 p.m., so that residents who would like to adopt a dog but work, could still have an opportunity to come see the dogs.

To find out what animals are available for adoption or for ways to help the shelter, Craver said you can contact the shelter at (570) 325-4828; her at (570) 730-0847; through email at carboncountyanimalshelter@live.com; via their Facebook page "Carboncounty Animalshelter;" or on petfinder.com.

The Carbon County Animal Shelter has been at the forefront of much discussion lately because the county commissioners said they would possibly like to see another group, such as a non-profit organization take over operations of the facility. It takes $92,000 annually to cover all expenses at the shelter.

Since then, volunteers and concerned citizens have worked to help the county care for the animals that are waiting to be adopted.

Nothstein said at the meeting on Thursday that rumors of the county closing the shelter are not true.

His colleague, Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard, added that he feels it is important to keep the shelter open because it is necessary for the community and for the animals it serves.

The county has not discussed anything further on if it will privatize the shelter down the road.

Until then, the shelter will continue business as usual.