The odds are against animals at the Golden Belt Humane Society. Found dumped in ditches our brought in by people who don’t want them, the animals are kept as long as possible in hopes that someone will adopt them.
Last year, volunteers at the humane society started new programs aimed at improving the chances of cats and dogs being adopted. On the first Saturday of each month, RaShann Southard and other volunteers take some of the animals to the Orscheln Farm and Home store in Great Bend. Adoption applications are available as well.
“This gives people a chance to really get to know them, sit down with them and play with them,” Southard said.
The eight dogs featured on April 6 were on their best behavior, except at times when a shopper came by with another dog. That triggered a communal barkfest. But with several volunteers on hand and every dog on a leash or in a kennel, order was quickly restored.
All of the dogs taken on these public outings have been vaccinated for rabies and parvo, Southard said. The cost to have an animal spayed or neutered is included in the adoption fee.
When the humane society runs out of room, sometimes even healthy animals must be euthanized, Southard said. Volunteers have reduced the need for that by finding individuals to foster dogs in their own homes for a couple of days or longer. Not only does the animal gain more time, it gets some human contact that may help it become a better pet for someone else.
As a last resort, the volunteers are also finding other shelters that accept the excess dogs. People have driven to Colorado, Missouri and Iowa to move dogs to safe shelters.
Anyone interested in fostering a dog, driving dogs to other shelters or volunteering in other ways can call Southard, whose phone number is 620-282-1177.
At the next Adopt A Pet event, set for May 4 at Orscheln’s, Chris Klima from the GBHS Board will be outside selling brats, hamburgers and hot dogs as a fundraiser for the humane society. Klima and friends conducted a bake sale on April 6 and raised over $1,200.