ARF holding 'Holiday Open House' Saturday
by Matt Quillen
Dec 06, 2010 | 2374 views |  1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Animal Rescue Foundation in Sylacauga has planned to host its “Holiday Open House” on Saturday, to showcase changes at the animal shelter and to increase adoptions.

The foundation scheduled the event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at their location on Shelter Lane, and planned to serve refreshments.

Foundation President Jaclyn Cosper said Monday the open house gives area residents an opportunity to see the improved facility and meet the new board of directors. She said attendees can also adopt a Christmas gift for themselves or others.

“Everyone can come out to see the changes we have made, meet the new board and pick out a dog or cat,” Cosper said.

The foundation is letting people find their new dog or cat and then have it held for them at the shelter until Christmas Eve. The animal will receive its first shots, de-worming and spaying or neutering while on hold, Cosper said.

The shelter staff said they have been busy in recent days preparing for the open house. Along with painting, rooms at the shelter were rearranged to take advantage of better ventilation, increase space and better quarantine sick animals.

Interim shelter director Tina Limbaugh said adoptions had been increasing as Christmas neared. People adopted 11 animals in October, an increase from the prior month.

“It looks like we were right around 20 for November, nearly double (October), which is great,” she said. “Donations are also getting better, they have picked up a little bit.”

Despite the increase, the shelter still has trouble with overpopulation. The adoptions have not come close to the number of animals received at the shelter, even though they are not accepting drop-offs.

Limbaugh said the shelter already took in 14 animals in December, from dogs and cats received from Animal Control and people leaving them outside the door.

“We are still not accepting them because we do not have room,” she said. “But people are still throwing them out at the door.”

As for donations, Limbaugh said the shelter needed blankets for the animals, along with the standard needs of food, litter and cleaning supplies.

The foundation also asked businesses and groups to set up “Presents for Paws” drop boxes at locations in the Sylacauga and Childersburg areas. Participants would set up a drop location to collect animal-related supplies.

Another plan in the works for the shelter is a new outdoor facility for the animals. The board has discussed building individual runs outside for dogs, with help from the city.

Limbaugh said some of the materials would be provided, such as fencing, but the shelter could also use building material donations of tin roofing, 2 x 4s and fence poles.

As for the open house, Cosper said the shelter had dogs and cats of all sizes and breeds and encouraged everyone to attend and find their new family member.

“A pet makes a great Christmas present that gives you joy year-round,” Cosper said. “The adoption fee is only $75, which includes spay or neuter, rabies shot and de-worming, which is about half of what you would pay if you were to get a dog (elsewhere) and take it to the vet.”

For more information on animal adoptions or donations, contact the Sylacauga Animal Shelter at 256-245-2500.