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Golden Belt Humane Society works to become 'no-kill' shelter
new slt pet adoption MAIN Loretta-w-Maple
Loretta Lauer holds Maple the beagle, Saturday at the Golden Belt Humane Societys monthly Adopt-A-Pet fundraiser at Orschlen Farm and Home store in Great Bend. Lauer was one of several volunteers who turned out to show dogs and cats available for adoption. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Furry animals hoping to become forever pets could be found Saturday at the Orschlen Farm and Home store in Great Bend, where the monthly Adopt-A-Pet fundrasier was taking place. Echo, a golden retriever mix, had just hit the jackpot.
Chris Klima, a volunteer and member of the Golden Belt Humane Society’s board of directors, injected a microchip beneath the dog’s coat as Macy Stambaugh, another volunteer, held him.
“Echo just got adopted by a family of four children, and they are in love,” Klima said.
“He is a happy dog,” Stambaugh agreed.
Thanks to Adopt-A-Pet fundraisers, Echo was neutered and received vaccines and the microchip implant at no cost to his new family. The fundraisers are generally held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month at Orschlen’s, 5320 10th St. There’s no cost to look at the dogs and cats, but donations – cash, as well as blankets and bags of pet food – are accepted at the front of the store. Most months, other volunteers sell lunch. This Saturday, it was chili, crackers, cinnamon rolls and a bottle of water for a $5 donation.
With dogs on leashes and kittens in cages most of the day, several volunteers were kept busy petting animals or introducing them to prospective families. But Kitty, a 6-year-old male cat who weighs about 20 pounds, needed neither leash nor cage as he lay calmly atop a stack of dog food bags. Volunteer Margaret Dirks said Kitty was recently dropped off at the humane society from a home that could no longer keep him. He is neutered, declawed on his front paws and “very docile,” Dirks said. Unfortunately, the odds are against Kitty finding what GBHS members call his “forever home.” “The older cats just aren’t as adoptable,” she said.
The goal of the Golden Belt Humane Society is to become a no-kill shelter, but unadoptable animals are eventually put to sleep if there is no other option. Klima said the past year’s efforts have led to significant improvement. “Our numbers from last year (compared) to 2012 are amazing.”
The Golden Belt Humane Society, located south of Great Bend on U.S. 281, is open for animal viewing from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The telephone number is 620-792-4297.