SThe success of the Spring River Animal Services program can be witnessed all over the nation. From adopted dogs who travel with Alpha Dog Transport to their new found families in other states, to the groups who show up to adopt at the many local adoption drives and the filled to capacity spay and neuter clinics, the fact that these animals who were abandoned or surrendered, are finding good homes, is one thing that can't be disputed.
A group of volunteers gathered at Walmart in Ash Flat June 19 and 20 for yet another adoption drive. The amount of work these volunteers put forth for the animals is an amazing testament to the establishment's goal of adopting as many animals as possible. This successful drive sent six animals to new and loving homes.
During the drive, the volunteer group offered T-shirts for a donation as well as raffling off one beautiful handmade dog and cat house. K. Harvey of Melbourne won the dog house and T. Casper of Oxford was the winner of the cat house.
The next adoption event will be held in front of Walmart July 24-25.
One of the most recent adoption success stories comes from Connecticut, where Greta, a mixed breed dog, found a new family of dog lovers as a result of the petfinder.com Web site. This site, on which a volunteer lists Spring River Animal Services' adoptable animals, is a nationwide site where those seeking to adopt can view animals that meet their criteria.
After adoption, the dogs are transported via Alpha Dog Transport to their new owners. Greta's family sends updates and pictures of Greta and her new brothers and sisters to Shorlyn Morris, animal control officer and Helga Lange, rescue coordinator at the center.
The strictly volunteer ran organization depends on donations for their existence. The shelter hosts various fundraisers and accepts cash donations for the care of the animals.
Spring River Animal Services has hosted numerous adoption drives thanks to the ongoing support of Walmart management. The most successful one provided homes for 26 dogs and 12-13 cats.
All older dogs arriving at the shelter receive their DHPP booster shots and puppies have been started on their shots to avoid outbreaks of parvo and distemper.
The adoption fee in most cases is $25 (more if the animal has already been spayed or neutered and the fees are still to be paid to the vet). If the cat or dog being adopted has not been altered, the city of Cherokee Village furnishes a $25 certificate to go toward the cost of spaying or neutering at local vet clinics. This means the adoption is essentially free. The adopter then has seven days to obtain the animal's rabies shots and 30 days to spay or neuter the animal if it is old enough.
Morris said the only exception is that if a person adopts a pure bred animal, it must be spayed or neutered before it can be taken home. She explained this is to prevent people from obtaining an animal for use in breeding.
Spring River Animal Services also sponsors low cost spay and neuter clinics every four to six weeks. Clinics are conducted by Arkansans for Animals which travels the state of Arkansas in a mobile surgical unit to offer this services. Local shelter volunteers register and tend to the animals before and after surgery. The June 30- July 2 clinic is almost booked, however, appointments are already being taken for the next clinic July 11-13.
The shelter appreciates the great amount of community involvement and welcomes volunteers. Those wishing to donate items to the center may do so at any time during their normal business hours.
Representatives said the shelter urgently needs shades for outside kennels, kitten and puppy food, laundry supplies, collars, leashes and chokers, plastic storage bins and trash cans, as well as carriers, cages, houses, playpens, kiddie pools and money for medical expenses.
The shelter is located on Highway 289 just across from the landfill and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Both Lange and Morris can be reached at 994-4445.