The Ford County Humane Society rescued a record number of animals in the last 13 months. According to society President Toni Myers, more than 900 animals were not euthanized because of the organization's efforts.
“It's been gradually rising every year,” Myers said.
The Ford County Humane Society rescued a record number of animals in the last 13 months. According to society President Toni Myers, more than 900 animals were not euthanized because of the organization's efforts. “It's been gradually rising every year,” Myers said. Last year the society rescued between 850 and 900 animals. The number was slightly less the year prior. Many of the animals the Humane Society rescues are litters of puppies. Other animals such as cats and birds are also rescued. According to Myers, a lot of Chihuahuas appear at the Dodge City shelter, as do boxers. Once animals are rescued they are put up for adoption. All animals must be spayed or neutered before being adopted. The society has a no-kill policy, so all animals are kept until someone adopts them. Recently, a cat was adopted that had been at the shelter since 2008. The society adopts animals to small, surrounding counties. Its rescue operations reach as far as Denver and St. Louis. Myers said much of the reason for the increase in numbers is that people aren't being responsible pet owners. “Dodge City has a very high number of animals at large,” she said. “They should never be there in the first place if you're taking care of your pet and following the laws of Dodge City.” The society has a shelter at 800 Avenue P that houses about 20 animals. The rest are kept at the city shelter. In addition to rescues, which are conducted at least once per week, the society works with the city shelter to save animals from euthanasia. The society was started in 1993 by a group of people who sought to improve conditions for homeless pets in Ford County. “It was just one of those things we thought there was a need for,” Myers said. Before Myers started the society, the shelter was a run-down trailer located south of town. The society offers additional services as well, including education on proper animal care and low-cost spay and neuter clinics twice per year. Currently the organization has 20 members and is all volunteer. The society operates based on donations. Residents can help cut down on the number of homeless pets by being careful with their own animals. “People are under the assumption that if they pay $500 for an animal or sell an animal that it's not going to end up in somebody's shelter, but it's not true,” Myers said. Dodge City ordinances dictate that animals can't run at large. There are no spaying or neutering requirements but Myers urges pet owners to spay or neuter their pets if they do not intend to breed them. The Humane Society is always in need of volunteers for everything from cleaning kennels to playing with and exercising the dogs. Donations of discarded blankets and towels are also accepted. To volunteer with the Humane Society or if you've found a homeless pet, call (620) 225-1481.