LARNED — Volunteers are taking care of dogs and cats at the Pawnee County Humane Society building.
The building is not officially open for public business. But there’s full-time care for dogs and cats housed at the property.
The 3,850-sq. ft. building off W. 8th is near the entrance of the Larned State Hospital. It provides room for dogs and cats with separate rooms for food prep, laundry, grooming and education.
“We’re still getting everything organized,” said Lois Eye, Pawnee County Humane Society president. “It’s a beautiful building. The building will be open to the public a day or two a week when we get everything in place.”
The shelter has a priority of keeping Pawnee County dogs and cats and finding them a suitable home. Virgil Donovan is the animal control officer for the city of Larned.
“We’re very pleased with the caliber of volunteers,” Eye said. “We’re always looking for additional volunteers.”
An open house is being planned, but no date has been established. An adopt-an-animal event will be scheduled at the open house. Some higher exterior fencing still must be completed, so larger dogs are being kept at foster homes.
“We have a fantastic high-quality setup with top-of-the-line equipment, thanks to our generous donations,” said Joe Eidson, Pawnee County Humane Society shelter manager.
Eidson said the best way to adopt an animal is by appointment to see an animal housed at the shelter. Eventually, that process will expand. Interested parties can call (620) 282-2554 to schedule an appointment. Adoptable animals are available for viewing on the web site pawneehumane.com.
Celeste Dixon is helping schedule volunteers for work duties that involve taking care of the animals. Five shifts run early in the morning, at noon and later in the evening. So far, 20 volunteers are signed up.
“If we could double the number of volunteers we have, that would be perfect,” Dixon said. “We have wonderful people committed to help who come in faithfully. Some of the high school students are helping with the animals, which always helps us.”
Dixon said high school students are also welcome to volunteer, which helps them achieve a community service requirement. Dixon said volunteers can choose to work directly with the animals, or in other ways. There is a constant need to walk dogs. Cleaning is a never-ending task.
Eidson said volunteers can chose their type of activity after an initial interview and screening process.
Eidson said anytime the dogs and cats can stay together, it’s good for the animals.
“With the kennel system, we’ll be able to keep a few dogs together,” Eidson said. “It’s a different environment than being kept in a home. Any time the animals can spend together helps the animals with their mental health and socialization.”
Dixon said the greatest need is spending time with the animals, which sometimes takes just a few minutes.
“The biggest issue with animals in the same place is they don’t get to socialize with people and have people pay attention to them,” she said.
The city of Larned was without a local animal pound for several years after space was needed for a wastewater treatment facility.