After seeing a constant problem with stray dogs in their community, a group of Hawkins area residents partnered with the city police department to form a new animal shelter.
Since July, groups of concerned Hawkins residents have started meeting, visiting other shelters, and drafting policies for the shelter known as Canine Rescue 75765, which is named in part from the zip code of the Hawkins area.
Sandra McCartney, president of Canine Rescue 75765, said she and others have started to see increasing numbers of stray dogs, especially around Lake Hawkins.
On a local Facebook group, she recalled reading about many dogs being thrown around the lake.
Brigette McCarthy, secretary and treasurer of the shelter, said people noticed three to five dogs a week around the lake.
âPeople come down the road and throw their dogs out,â McCarthy said.
The main shelter management team includes McCartney, McCarthy, Vice President Kimberly Pollock, Director of Volunteer Services Barb Casburn and Director of Veterinary Services Susan Morgan.
Hawkins Police Department chief Manfred Gilow gifted the group to the town’s former animal shelter, McCartney said, adding that volunteers were renovating and making improvements before the shelter opened.
Gilow and relief officials also made a deal that police department officers would pick up stray animals outside of city limits in addition to those within the city, McCartney said.
Any dogs found would later be adopted by Canine Rescue 75765. Gilow has shown interest in partnering with the police department and volunteers because he loves dogs, McCartney said.
Currently there are nine kennels and three dogs housed at the shelter while another dog is in foster care.
A local builder has donated concrete pouring services for the quarantine kennels, which are for dogs that still need vaccines or may have an owner, McCartney said.
McCartney said they would work on a fostering program for dogs to learn socialization and have a home before adoption.
She pointed out that Canine Rescue 75765 does not relocate dogs for those looking to get rid of their pets.
“We will only take care of stray and abandoned dogs,” McCartney said.
Casburn said all dogs adopted at the shelter will have their important vaccines, be spayed or neutered and be able to walk on a leash.
The Canine Rescue 75765 team would also like to stress the importance of pet sterilization.
Wood County has its Spay and Spay Program, also known as SNAP, which provides vouchers for county residents to have their pets spayed or neutered at low cost. People call 903-760-SNAP for information on how to use one of the vouchers.
âWe are going to educate the community so they know where to go to take care of their dogs,â McCartney said. âSometimes people throw (dogs) because they can’t take care of them. “
McCartney has asked people to check out the group’s Facebook page, Canine Rescue 75765, for an official opening date.
The rescue takes cash donations through the Hawkins Police Department, and those who wish to send funds can send the money to PO Box 1505 in Hawkins.
She added that all donations, including labor, beds and appliances, are accepted to help the shelter grow.
âIt will be all the hours of volunteerism and community support that will define our success,â said McCartney.
Those interested in volunteering should email Casburn at [email protected]