2008 is now in the past. It was a very busy year here at the shelter. There were many highs and lows. We handled roughly 830 dogs, 608 cats and 14 “others.” Among the others were a pregnant mini goat, an angry Pot Bellied Pig, two geese, a couple of ducks, several bunnies, ferrets and a guinea pig.
We captured the attention not only of the locals but the country by making Fox 10 news with the story of eight drowned puppies. We took in the mother, Roxy, and the sole surviving pup which we lovingly named Junior. Both are now living wonderful lives in great homes.
There’s Cha Chi the badly injured Chihuahua we saved, and Bella from Hella, our mouser. They are the animal members of the staff.
Some wonderful people have stepped up and opened their hearts and homes to become foster families, so tiny babies have a chance to get old enough and special needs animals have a chance to get their feet under them before they begin the adoption process. There were too many success stories to name in just one article, a small book could be published of letters and photos that have been sent to us regarding some of our animals and their families.
Longtimers like Levi, Max, Akema, Benson and Nickoli and Scooter, who both grew up here, and so many more made their way into loving, forever homes. We said sad goodbyes to some longtime residents who, due to age or illness, didn’t make it to a home but finished their journey here surrounded by their shelter family. Among them were Silky, Baby Girl, Drake, Big Bertha and too many more.
Thanks to the dedication of a small army of volunteers who give selflessly of their time, our dogs are exercised 365 days a year, tons of laundry is washed, dried and folded, the cats are combed and socialized, the dumpster divers handled more than 26,000 pounds of aluminum cans which earned us $21,589.
There is a table with information and items for sale and raffle at most every event in town thanks to the hard work of The Friends of Payson Humane Society. The second annual pet calendar is again a big hit. There were auctions, wine tastings, the Junction 87 dance, the chili supper — all made possible by the generous, giving people of this community. The mass mailer showed beyond the shadow of doubt that this community is full of people who believe in us and support us. The second annual “Home for the Holidays” event was a huge success, where 11 pet adoptions were sponsored by Dr. Marmer.
Among our greatest accomplishments are the grants we received to offer to the animals of this community to be spayed and neutered. They amounted to over $20,000. This goes a long way to reduce the number of unwanted litters born, who will eventually make their way to our door. We reached 1,000 in feral cats spayed and neutered through the Friends of Ferals program. That money comes from grants and donations as well. We also brought Plateauland Mobile low-cost spay and neuter clinic to town three times. We helped 35 animals whose families were in a crisis situation with our Humanitarian Hold program.
But truly, the biggest feat of all was that we managed to do all of this in the old, worn out facility known as Payson Humane Society — “The Little Shelter that Could.”
So here’s to 2009. May we find the strength and grace to handle the tasks that are left to us. And may our dream of building a new shelter for the lost and abandoned animals of this area come true.
Following are profiles of some of the pets who have been at the shelter for a long while, still waiting for loving homes. Please take a moment to hear their stories and consider adopting a new pet in the new year. Feel free to come to the shelter at 812 S. McLane Road to meet them.
Bruno is a 3-year-old Pit Bull. He is energetic and outgoing and would do best in an active environment. He does not like cats and does well with some dogs, but not with others. If you are interested and have another dog, please bring them with you so the dogs can be introduced. Bruno has been here since July 23, 2007. He was adopted once, given away and then thrown from a car and brought back to us. Bruno has been here longer than any of our animals and half of our employees. How long does Bruno have to live here?
Chica is a 4-1/2-year-old Chow mix. She does great with other dogs and is such a lady. She doesn’t bark when all the other dogs are barking, and she walks wonderfully on a leash. She is housebroken and rides well in cars. Chica has been with us since March 20, 2008. She was adopted twice and returned. Once because the people who adopted her wanted her to be an outside dog and she didn’t like, that so she dug out, but never left the property. The second time she was returned because the girl had another dog and said they didn’t get along. However, she goes out with the big group of dogs and is used to meeting new dogs. How long will she have to stay?
Chewey was brought to us because his owner wasn’t able to spend time with him. Being all alone, he was becoming bored with his yard and starting to plan his escape routes. He seems to be very smart and obeys basic commands. His owner informed us he is good with kids over 10, other dogs and OK with cats. Chewey will need an active family that is able to include him in their lives. He should not be kept as a yard dog but rather a family dog. Please plan on being loyal to him as this is what he plans for you. Chewy is currently in a foster home, but has been with us since Aug. 4, 2008. How long will he have to stay?
Gage is a 2-1/2-year-old Pit Bull. He was dumped at Flowing Springs and brought to us. He loves to play ball and has ALL the qualities that a search and rescue or drug-sniffing dog has. He is highly intelligent and very well behaved. He is sweet and playful and will play fetch all day. A home visit is required for him. Gage has been here since July 11, 2008. How much longer will he have to stay?
Kacey is very special. He needs a caring, compassionate family to take him and his needs on. He is a neutered Chow/Australian Shepherd mix. He has been adopted and returned to us twice, all because of his skin condition. He has allergies and requires special foods and allergy shots. He is housebroken and does wonderful on a leash. He rides well in vehicles and gets along with other dogs. He is quite the character, too. He can talk to you, and when he gets excited, his cute little stubby tail wiggles back and forth. Please help him find his forever home. He needs someone who will love him and appreciate him for the wonderful guy he truly is. Come meet Kacey! We promise you’ll fall in love. Kacey was adopted in May 2007, but returned Oct. 3, 2008. How long will he have to stay?
Tootsie is a beautiful 2-year-old brindle Shar Pei. She was picked up in Mesa Del by a kind citizen. She has had a few litters of puppies, but thankfully now she is spayed and that can no longer happen. Tootsie needs a family who will take her hiking and keep her active. She has a short coat that will require minimal brushing. Please take some time to spend with our Tootsie Pop. She is wonderful. Tootsie has been with us since Oct. 3, 2008. She was a mother to Drake, one of the shelter favorites, who we unfortunately lost. He lives on through her. How long will she have to stay?