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Liberal’s animal population is becoming a problem E-mail
Opinion
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 13:04


LETTER TO THE EDITOR, Susan Savely, Great Plains Angels for Animals



Great Plains Angels for Animals is a 501c3 organization that was founded by Louise Collins in 2007. Our organization operates solely on volunteer workers. Not one person gets paid within our organization. Our funding is from a yearly grant that we receive from the City of Liberal (not guaranteed) and donations we receive from people and businesses in the local area. We hold fund raisers, homemade dog treats and dog identification tags for donations try to bring in more funds. All of the funds received go to help combat the ever-growing unwanted pet population in the Liberal area. 

Liberal has a huge unwanted animal problem. There are several reasons for this problem:

• Too many people buy the cute puppy or kitten and then decide after it is full grown that they don’t want it any more.

• People buy a puppy or kitten and don’t want the expense of spaying or neutering it and wind up with unwanted litters.

• People get a pet and don’t want to take the time to train it (house training, crate training, general obedience) and dump it when it does not act as they wish.

• People want a pet, but leave it outside in the elements, with no food or water.

When you take home a pet, they require years of commitment. They become part of your family and in return give you unconditional love. Before getting a pet, you should determine if you are willing and able to commit to taking care of it for years. Can you afford the veterinarian expenses for the pet (spay, neuter, vaccines, possible illnesses?) Can you be a responsible pet owner? 

Many people believe that Liberal Animal Shelter is a “No Kill” shelter. It is not a “no kill” shelter. Due to the efforts of the City of Liberal, The Liberal Animal Shelter staff, Great Plains Angels for Animals volunteers, a few public volunteers and animal rescues in Colorado, Liberal’s Animal Shelter has not had to euthanize animals due to overcrowding in several years. The only animals to be euthanized have been sick, vicious or under court order. As you can imagine, all of these efforts do not come free, and Great Plains Angels for Animals foots most of the expense.

The majority of our expenses go toward services performed by our local veterinarians. They do discount their services provided, but that is still a major drain on our funds. Then we have expenses for fuel for our 1996 transport van and our licensing in Kansas and Colorado. Why Colorado? We transport most of Liberal’s unwanted pets to Colorado, to “No Kill” shelters and rescues. Colorado State law requires that in order to bring animals into their state, we must have a PACFA license.

Currently, we are facing a financial crisis. We are only halfway through the year and GPAA finds itself with only enough money to fund, one or maybe two more transports to Colorado. The average cost for one transfer is $1000 (vaccines, health certificates, fuel and maintenance on van, etc.), and we transfer at least once and sometimes two or three times a month, depending on the needs of the Liberal Animal Shelter. Unless we receive some major donations or funding, the animals that we could have saved will die. The Liberal Animal Shelter will have to start euthanizing animals when they become full. They have not had to euthanize animals due to overcrowding in several years. Great Plains Angels for Animals has shouldered the problems created by the list above for several years. These unwanted animals are not disposable trash. They didn’t ask to be put in the situations they are in. Humans have caused the problems. Humans can also help to change what is happening. Talk to your city commissioners about changing the adoption policy at the shelter, so that all animals leaving the shelter must be spayed or neutered, and about possibly increasing the funding for the animal shelter to help with understaffing and other expenses. Make sure your pets are spayed and neutered. Make sure they have identification tags and/or have them micro-chipped so they can be easily identified and returned if they get out. 

Great Plains Angels for Animals needs your help. We are quickly running out of money. Any and all donations are welcome and greatly appreciated. Please help us continue to help these homeless angels. Donations may be made on PayPal or mailing to PO Box 1855, Liberal, KS 67905.

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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