What follows is an example of what happens when Animal Control and local rescues work together. They all deserve our respect, gratitude and support to try to keep the momentum going:
April was a banner month for the hapless, homeless dogs, cats, kittens and puppies that find themselves at Macon Animal Control’s 11th St. Shelter. The sad fact is that most of the healthy, good-tempered, adoptable animals that go to MAC don’t come out alive. That’s the way it is at the majority of municipal shelters in this country.
April 2011 was different, however. In April, about 100 animals were rescued from MAC, according to shelter manager Paula Fuller. That is an unprecedented number in the Macon area, where adoptions are minuscule for a variety of reasons.
In April, a new rescue stepped up to the plate. ARCHS, or Animal Rescue Coalition Humane Society, was formed in late 2010, yet the rescue almost single-handedly reduced the April 2011 kill rate at Macon Animal Control. In April, the group not only stepped up, they hit a home run, pulling dogs, cats, kittens and puppies and sending them into foster care. When a rescue “pulls” an animal, that means Animal Control releases the pet to the rescue. Some municipal shelters charge fees, but most do not.
ARCHS does not have a physical shelter, and placing 100 animals in foster care took a herculean effort by founders Myshea Robinson and Holly Michelle Schughart, and dedicated volunteers like Anne Brennaman. Many of the pets received vet care and went on to larger rescues. Others make the trip every weekend to PetSmart in Macon, where they excel at looking loveable for potential adopters.
When a hoarding situation arose and MAC sent out a plea for help with the furry refugees, ARCHS was Johnny-on-the-spot, taking in several pets and giving them the attention and vet care they had been missing.
Ms. Fuller said that in addition to the “wonderful” work of ARCHS, Heart of Georgia Humane Society pulled a dog in April, and Circle of Friends Animal Society also pulled several animals. She said she was thrilled to see so many animals rescued.
That’s more than 100 lives saved in a single month, because, as Ms. Brennaman said, rescuers networked and focused only on saving the animals. Rescue groups often disagree with one another, and rescuers and animal control workers often butt heads. It happens everywhere, including Macon, and perhaps it always will. Ms. Brennaman said the only way to save animals is to work together despite any disagreements between the humans involved. “It’s about the animals,” she said. “That’s all that matters.”
That’s something all rescues should keep in mind. When squabbles and hatred keep you from saving lives, it’s time to reassess your mission. While ARCHS took giant steps in April to save doomed animals from Macon Animal Control, and others helped, they can’t do it all, and they can’t do it alone. Other Macon area rescues need to get more involved in pulling animals from Macon Animal Control.
As a fledgling rescue, ARCHS desperately needs more foster homes so they can rescue more animals from MAC and from Jones County Animal Control in Gray. The pets they pull from the shelters often need time for veterinary care, to learn socialization and manners, and above all, to learn how to accept and give love. The pets ARCHS places in foster homes receive all the necessities from the rescue, at no cost to the foster home, including food, vet care and medications. All the foster “parent” has to do is love the pet and help the pet learn what it is to be a loved and loving companion.
The rescue also needs volunteers to help with adoption days, volunteers with fundraising experience and volunteers who can help with training or other aspects of pet care.
Ideally, the dynamos that power ARCHS would like the public to go down to Macon Animal Control Shelter at 1010 Eleventh Street in Macon and adopt a pet themselves. Second best? Come out to adoption days on weekends, or contact ARCHS directly about adopting one of their available pets on Petfinder.
If you aren’t ready or able to adopt a pet, but would like to help reduce the kill rate at both Macon Animal Control and Jones County Animal Control, support ARCHS. Contact Animal Rescue Coalition Humane Society at PO Box 14155, Macon, GA 31203, or call (478) 207-4079. Here’s what Ms. Schughart says the group needs:
- Donations. There isn’t a real rescue (mega-millionaire groups like ASPCA don’t count) in the world that doesn’t need more money to help them save lives. Adoption fees are rarely high enough to cover the food, shots, medical care, flea and heartworm treatments and other expenses. If you have a spare dollar or more lying around, why not send them a tax-deductible donation? Mail donations to ARC HS, PO Box 14155, Macon, GA 31203.
- Canned food for dogs or cats
- Litter pans and cat litter
- Portable exercise pens for adoption days
- Enclosed, pull-behind trailer for supplies for adoption days
- Pop-up canopies that are easy to raise and lower, so the pets have plenty of shade on adoption days.
- Toys – No squeaky toys, because some pets have anxiety issues, but Kongs, Nylabones, tennis balls, tug toys and similar toys are welcomed.
- Vaccines – 5-in-1 vaccines for puppies are available at places like Tractor Supply, or you can buy gift certificates there and at Jeffers Pet for the vaccines.
- Flea and Tick preventer such as Frontline, Advantix, or the new, less expensive Pet Armor.
- Vitamins/Supplements – Glucosamine-chondritin supplements, esterC and benadryl helps keep the pets healthy.
- Puppy pads – disposable or washable. These are always in short supply.
- Linens and beds – Towels, light blankets and small pet beds. Pet bedding, like shavings made from aspen, pine or cedar come in handy, too.
- Dog houses – Must be sturdy. Extra large houses are needed most.
- Grooming supplies – Shampoo, clippers
- Garden hoses – A popular “chew toy” for dogs who can sneak their teeth into them, garden hoses need regular replacement.
- Dog pen – At least 10×10, paneled dog pen for quarantining animals when needed.
- Pool – a small, hard plastic pool like the kiddies’ pools that cost only a few dollars at places like Kmart and Wal-Mart.
- Pooper Scoopers – rake type and claw type
- Cleaning Supplies – Bleach, paper towels, wipes, laundry detergents, etc.
- Tarps/Plastic sheeting – These have too many uses to mention!
- Collars and leashes – Sized for small, medium and large dogs, and cats. Must be sturdy collars, especially for larger dogs.
- Bamboo fencing – available at places like Lowe’s. This comes in rolls and helps screen the rescues from other dogs.
- Brick, Block, Pavers
If you have unused items suitable for a yard sale, you can donate those, too. ARC HS can usually pick these items up, saving you a trip.