Hi, I looked at the calendar and realized we are going on 6 months in the new shelter. Amazing. What a difference it has made in the life of the shelter animals. They are cleaner, warmer, safer and on the whole, less prone to disease. The ability to separate them and see them in their kennels/cages with good light makes taking care of them so much easier. It is easier to feed and water them and to judge whether they need other food or are acting sickly. Not all the kinks are worked out, but on the whole it is a wonderful place for these misplaced and homeless animals. The new shelter also makes it much easier for people to interact with the animals and to look for lost animals.
Flea and tick season is already in full swing. The shelter is seeing more and more of these pests. They are trying to spray the dogs as they come in. Also, the shelter is being sprayed once a month. Hopefully that will help keep these pests at bay. At home, it is really helpful to put frontline or one of those kinds of monthly treatments on your animals. There is a new chewable tablet called NexGard that kills fleas and ticks in an hour and last for a month too. It would be great if we could put it on all the shelter animals, but the cost is way too much.
PAWS had their adoption day at United on April 12th. A big thanks to everyone who showed up to help with the animals. Adoption Days take a lot of effort in set up, running, and take down. This day was very successful. 10 dogs and 3 cats found new homes. Then on Sunday, 6 more were adopted from the shelter. This included a litter of puppies that were given a straight parvo shot a couple days before event. Volunteers have followed up on these pups, and really worked on getting the owners to bring pups in for their first parvo/distemper shot. In 2 weeks they will work on getting them to take the pups to their vet for the 2nd parvo/distemper shot. We have stressed how important it is to get shots in a timely manner in order to protect their pup from this deadly disease. Prevention is so much better than trying to treat a very sick puppy!
The adoption day also raised $400 in cash donations and around $200 in donated supplies. These kinds of donations really help with vaccinating shelter animals and helping get medical attention for the ones that need it. So many of the animals brought into the shelter need medical intervention. Being able to vaccinate them for parvo/distemper and kennel cough is really important. If an animal is pregnant it helps pass the immunities on to the unborn puppies, too. Of course, by law, every animal is to have a current rabies shot. We can not take animals to Petco or transfer them across state lines with out a rabies shot and certificate.
On Thursday, I went to a seminar sponsored by the Amarillo Area Foundation on Nonprofits and Endowments. It was very informative. It would be great if we could do the research and work needed to set up an endowment fund and work on getting it funded. One of the things I learned was that you need to be very specific about the need for the endowment and its use. Being able to take care of every shelter animal's current medical needs and preventative disease needs would be a wonderful. It is something to think about.
Probably most of you have heard about the situation at the Amarillo Animal Shelter. It is a sad and discouraging. Channel 7 called and came over Friday to talk to Monty and me about our situation here One of the areas of concern has to do with how animals are euthanized, and if they are weighed to know the correct amount of drugs to use. The new shelter does have a scale and it is now mandatory that every animal be weighed when it is brought into the shelter. We are also very lucky because our adoption/rescue rates have gone up, helping the shelter to reduce its euthanation rate. All the advertizing, media exposure, animal health and socialization work, shelter adoptions, Petco adoption days, United adoptions days, Colorado no kill rescue operations, barn placements, spay/neuter program, all go into keeping the kill rate down. It takes a lot of dedicated continuous work, but the results show that it pays off!
There is another part of this equation that would also make a big difference in animal shelters. It is PET OWNER RESPONSIBILITY! Sometimes peoples' ignorance and lack of caring about their animals is overwhelming. Getting more people to care and understand the needs of taking care of their animals and keeping them from breeding would make a huge difference. Just while we were being interviewed, 1 puppy found was brought in, 1 sick puppy found a long side of the road was brought in (sent to vet: diagnosed with late stage parvo: put down), and 1 citizen came looking for lost dog (which shelter had). It all happened within 15 minutes!
Linda Stokes, Jeanelle Hall, and Lynn Ledford have been working on a volunteer program. We need some structure there and they are trying to provide it. Also every weekend, a list of dogs that need to be walked is by the volunteer sign in sheet. If you have 15/30 minutes to interact with an animal, stop by, sign in and get a leash. The animals really enjoy the interaction. A big thanks to you who have been doing this already!
PAWS meeting this Tuesday at 6;30 at the shelter. Come join us. Faustina