Story by Dianne S Edwards
On any given week day, one can see dozens of puppies and kittens being offered for adoption on street corners across the River Valley. Most of these small animals are the product of unwanted births while others are sold for profit.
One organization that operates solely to benefit the animals is an animal rescue group called “Furry Friends in Need.” The group consists of a handful of volunteers, yet each give up a couple of Saturdays each month to help find good homes for the area’s abandoned and unwanted animals.
Jan Plant and Rosemary Page have helped organize local adoptions, one at TSC (located on East Parkway) on the first Saturday of each month; the second at the Animal Shelter, located off of Hwy 7T near the Recycle Works Center, on the third Saturday of each month.
Jan says she became involved with the animal rescue and placement about four years ago when her children became grown and left home. “A sort of empty-nest replacement,” adds friend Rosemary.
Those involved were dismayed to discover that the Animal Shelter was not open on Saturdays, making pet adoption difficult for those who work weekdays. Moving the animals from the shelter to locations such as TSC improves their chances of being adopted by loving families and increases visibility of the non-profit organization.
They are grateful for the support of the TSC, a farm-related business that allows them to set up their covered tent and shelter and allows them to hold a car wash to fund their efforts. Fencing installed so that a volunteer could foster unadopted animals was financed by the group’s efforts. Furry Fiends began a senior citizen’s program recently which places pets in the homes of area seniors and helps provide food and cover medical bills for the animal. In addition to keeping an eye on the pet, the group checks on the foster parents as well. They are always looking for volunteers who understand the commitment required.
Adoption fees of $40 per animal are used to pay for spaying and neutering of the animals and to delay other costs of housing the pets, said Jan.
Donations of food, blankets, pooper scoopers, toys, dog houses, building materials and other items are welcomed and will be picked up by volunteers if the person making the donation is unable to drop them at the Animal Shelter. Tax-deductible donations may be made to: Furry Friends in Need, P.O. Box 1905, Russellville AR 72811.
Additional information is available by calling 293-4377 or 493-2851.
Story by Dianne S Edwards