Blytheville Humane Society providing shelter and care for dogs and cats

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thanks to a group of caring people there is a warm, dry place for dogs and cats at the Blytheville Humane Society shelter. The no-kill shelter stays at capacity most of the time with additional animals living in area foster homes. The shelter is located on the former Air Force base at Gosnell. One of the buildings is where the century dogs on the base were once housed making a divided kennel area for the larger dogs.

Pam Ford, president of the Humane Society and adoption coordinator, brings treats for the dogs at the Blytheville Animal Shelter. (Town Crier photos/Revis Blaylock)

Pam Ford, president of the Blytheville Humane Society, gives credit to the volunteers who devote their time, and the individuals and businesses who make contributions, along with two local veterinarians who offer their services, working together to keep the animals fed and healthy.

The animals are available for adoption and visitors are welcome to come by the shelter or check out the cats and dogs on line. The web page features many of the dogs and cats needing a family to love. The shelter is open on Tuesday through Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. and Sundays from 2-5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays for deep cleaning. People can also find out more about the Blytheville Humane Society on its Facebook page or see some of the animals on "72315".

Ford also serves as adoption coordinator for the animals. Lisa Childress serves as manager for the shelter and works in conjunction with Terry Gaines, animal control officer.

All dogs get out in the running pins twice a day for exercise and fresh air.

In addition to adoption other services include the relocation of dogs through the Wright Way Rescue program.

The Wright Way Rescue van comes through Blytheville out of Illinois and will relocate dogs to the northern states for adoption. Diane Jackson serves as the chairman for the transport program.

Jackson said the transport program has been a great addition to the shelter for finding homes for the dogs.

The animals are named and have their own space.

The shelter also has a thrift store called Orphan Annie. It is located on Second Street, across from the American Legion. Donations made to the thrift store are sold with all of the proceeds going to support the shelter. Another building on 10th Street houses larger donations in the furniture line with the sale proceeds going to the Humane Society. Claire Taylor volunteers at the thrift shop, which is open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for shopping. It is open for donations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

If anyone has items to donate and needs the items picked up they can call Ford at (870) 838-5512.

"We have been blessed to have the volunteers and donations we get," Ford said. "Without all of it, we would not be able to do what we do. We have had families donate an entire household of items."

Ford was excited about a new opportunity for some of the dogs at the Blytheville Shelter.

"We had two representatives from Paws for Prison come and test seven of our dogs for their program," she said. "They took two and said they will be back. The dogs will be trained by prisoners as rescue dogs."

The Blytheville Shelter is one of the few places that will accept cats and kittens. They have a roam free room for the felines.

Dogs are divided into areas for small and large dogs. The dogs are rotated inside and outside. All of the dogs get to go out twice daily so they can exercise and run in the fenced-in areas. Ford said thanks to fence donations from Nucor and Lowes extra fenced-in running areas have been added.

Ford praised local veterinarians Dr. Cato and Dr. Gall. They help keep the animals healthy and provide spay/neutering at a low cost.

Every animal taken into the Blytheville Shelter is treated for fleas, wormed, spayed/neutered, tested for heart worms, given rabies vaccine, and a microchip is implanted.

There is an application process for adopting and the cost is $125 for dogs which helps offset the cost of the vaccinations, surgery and microchip. Cats can be adopted for $25 and $50 for kittens.

They also allow people to return the dogs and cats if they decide they cannot keep them. People are also allowed to foster a dog or cat before making the decision to adopt.

The shelter has volunteers who like to walk the dogs on leashes or help in other ways.

Ford, along with her staff, have a passion for the work they do in providing shelter for the animals.

"We have had a baby pig dropped off," Ford said. "We found it a home. We have also had ferrets and rabbits dropped off."

The Blytheville Humane Society members are there to help and are willing to go the extra mile. Persons who find abandoned dogs or cats can call Ford and they will do their best to work with residents. They do ask for people to be patient and keep the animals in a safe place until the shelter can find room, foster homes or make arrangements for transport.

The Humane Society is planning a fundraising dinner on March 5 at the Blytheville Country Club. Anyone needing more information on the dinner can contact Ford.

The Humane Society meets at 6 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month in the dining room at the hospital. They welcome guests to the meeting.

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