By Jim Misunas
LARNED — After years of work, the Pawnee County Humane Society will celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon cutting Saturday. The Pawnee County Humane Society will follow a 1 p.m. ribbon cutting with an open house until 4 p.m. Saturday.
The shelter at K-264 and 8th Street is just north of the Larned State Hospital complex. Public hours are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ve got hard-working volunteers,” said Joseph Edison, PCHS shelter manager.
The city of Larned has begun sending animals to PCHS. The shelter is required to schedule hours during the week so owners who may have lost dogs can view the animals.
“It’s a challenge running the shelter with all volunteers, but we’re also getting a lot of new volunteers stepping up,” said Lois Eye, PCHS president. “We getting more animals brought in, which we expected. But our adoptions are also picking up.”
Celeste Dixon schedules volunteers for work duties. Five shifts run early in the morning, at noon and later in the evening. So far, 30 volunteers are signed up. Dixon said PCHS board members are present when the shelter is open to the public.
“Sometimes a question will come up or a decision has to be made and it’s convenient that a board member is there,” Dixon said. “This is an exciting time.”
PCHS will also run a volunteer orientation and training session from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
“If you want to volunteer, and we’d love to have you, come out and see what you can do,” said Edison.
Dixon said there will be a growing need for volunteers who can help with training and socialization for the dogs. The best way to volunteer is to call the shelter number (620) 285-8510 and leave a contact name and number for Dixon. Dixon said in the near future, inmates from the Department of Corrections minimum security West Unit will help with some of the work.
There is a constant need to walk dogs, Dixon said. Cleaning is a never-ending task. Volunteers can chose their activity after an interview and screening process.
The 3,850-sq. ft. building provides shelter for dogs and cats with separate rooms for food prep, laundry, grooming and education. The shelter has a priority of finding animals a suitable home.
Interested parties can also call 285-8510 for an appointment to adopt an animal. Many of the adoptable animals are for viewing on the website pawneehumane.com. Reva Preeo is serving as assistant shelter manager.
Labor of Love races
The next PCHS fundraising event is Sept. 5 for the Labor of Love races on Labor Day. A “Fast Cat Five” 5K and a “Labor of Love” 10K will start from the PCHS shelter. Race day registration starts at 7 a.m. with races starting at 8 a.m. Age categories range from 12 and under to 60 and over.
A 10 a.m. “Mutt Strut” is a group dog walk around the shelter grounds with photos to be scheduled.