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Over the weekend, about 30 volunteers from 18 different animal rescue organizations worked around the clock. Their goal was to improve the facilities at the Springfield City Animal Control shelter for both its animals and employees. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann attended the revealing event and has this report.
Dogs of various sizes and breeds stand behind chain linked fencing on concrete floors. This tucked away city shelter just past the zoo on North Farmer Avenue, can hold up to 86 dogs and is usually filled to capacity. These animals are kept for only 10 days before they are scheduled to be euthanized. However every Tuesday, local rescue groups work to retrieve adoptable animals and find them new homes.
Latichia Duffy is one of the 30 or so volunteers who worked all through the weekend cleaning, painting, and replacing worn-out equipment. Duffy is owner and operator of Halfway Home Rescue, one of several groups that take animals from this shelter to find homes.
“Right now there is a 92 percent save rate that we’ve since January of this year. And what we are trying to do is get that number up. We want to get closer to 100 percent,” said Duffy
Over the weekend, new block walls were installed separating the kennels to reduce the spread of disease, and reduce stress and anxiety. Supplies were replaced, including two refrigerators for vaccines, two large fans for cooling, food and water bowls, and an elevated hose cleaning system was also installed. Duffy says the most important thing is to keep these animals healthy and increase their chances of getting adopted all over the country.
“We network with rescues all over the United States and Canada. Everything we do is volunteer, transport coordinators are volunteers, everything we do. So we are really looking for people in our area to step up and support the shelter. And so there really is a need for people to know it’s here, because people don’t know it’s here,” Duffy said.
Duffy says she and other groups raised 10,000 dollars for these improvements, and all of the labor and construction of the block walls was donated by Rosales Masonry. Karen Prescott is with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, which oversees the animal control shelter. She says these long overdue changes simply would not fit into the normal budget.
“Well I think the employees are excited about the changes. It’s just more than we can bite off with our budget. We run a budget of around $110 thousand dollars for all of our supplies and services. That includes our contract veterinarian, food, maintaining a fleet of 10 vehicles, just maintaining these old buildings; so it doesn’t go very far,” Prescott said.
Prescott says that supplies are always in demand, and that donations of food and other items are always welcome. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.