CCAPS dogs and cats anxiously await humane humans | Community Groups


Some of them bark sharply, impatiently to get noticed, while others shyly watch from the corner of their pen, too frightened from past experiences with people to trust them even through bars.

These are the dogs of Columbia County Animal Protection League Animal Shelter, currently almost 80 strong, who do get to go outside and walk and run during portions of the day but wish they could find someone to come visit and somehow pick them among the others to take home and love.

Each day they hope. Sometimes it happens. At most times, the shelter is filled up to its highest capacity, as it is this summer.

“Usually, the puppies go the quickest. Once they get to the teenage stage, people lose interest,” said CCAPS Manager Clistie Ferrell.

Many adult dogs only get homes because they are desired in states far away such as Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Many places outside the south have laws requiring spaying and neutering for dogs and cats so there are not animals roaming the streets like one finds in Magnolia and many other rural cities, she said.

A popular animal rescue, Morning Meadow Animal Rescue in Carthage, AR, works with CCAPS to make adoptions and others possible when dogs need to be transported states away.

But for other dogs who are waiting for homes at CCAPS, seasons change, and the heat of this summer will turn to fall and then so on, but they will still find themselves waiting.

That is the case of Winter, named so because she is white and Fat Girl, who has brindle coloring, who are the longest residents of CCAPS, located at 510 W. Columbia in Magnolia. The pair, who are part pit bull terriers, have spent five to six years there, before Ferrell became the manager of the shelter four years ago.

“They have been here so long they are a bonded pair, and they would have to go to the same home, Ferrell said. “Both love kids, especially Winter, she can’t get enough of those little sticky hands. Fat Girl loves kids and car rides, but she is not always OK with other dogs so it would be much better if they were the only dogs.”

This requirement for one family to take two dogs at once has made their chances of adoption less likely than other dogs there. But they still come to the bars, press their nose through them and lick hands to try and make a connection.

There are also 28 cats at the non-profit agency now, more than the 20 to 25 that is typically capacity there, but they are making do with the numbers, Ferrell said.

Cats are housed in a separate building and meow and come to the front of their cage to investigate people passing by and introduce themselves in hopes someone will adopt them.

One little gray and white kitten put her paw out of the cage repeatedly to play. What she wouldn’t do for a chance to play a game with a toy mouse or even a simple piece of yarn with a new family.

The shelter relies on donations from the community and the profits made in the Second Chances Thrift Store and the CCAPS Thrift Store located next to each other on East Main Street. They receive no city, state or federal funding.

The thrift store idea was something former board member and CCAPS volunteer Larry Price thought about after seeing one in Colorado while traveling there. Price is a co-founder of CCAPS and has been involved with the organization since 1996. He said Jeff Smart was another one of several co-founders of CCAPS and called the organization’s first meeting.

People can find a variety of clothing, accessories, shoes and kitchenware at the Second Chances Store and find more bulky items such as furniture and other collectibles at CCAPS Thrift Store. Donations are accepted daily and can be dropped off while the stores are open, or after hours in bins when the store is closed. It is a crime to steal from the donation bins, because once they are donated, the items belong to CCAPS, Ferrell said.

At times, antiques show up as donations as well as name brand clothing and purses. Merchandise changes often, so some people shop regularly to make sure they don’t miss anything.

The shelter also takes donations of food and toys and in the winter, blankets and hay for the dogs, especially those who live in the back of CCAPS.

What is more difficult than even the wait for dogs and cats to be adopted is the unimaginable abuse some of them have been through when they come in, Ferrell said.

“I’ve had dogs coming in so emaciated I had to syringe feed them and they die three days later,” she said.

Other dogs come in with behavioral problems because they have been taught to be aggressive and trained to fight. This leaves these dogs at a disadvantage because if they are too aggressive, they might have to be euthanized. The only two reasons the shelter will put animals down is behavior that will prevent them from being adopted, or if they have an illness that cannot be treated.

Luckily, this does not happen very often as Go Fund Me accounts can be set up and CCAPS has help from veterinarian Dr. Mark Ryan of Eastridge.

Price, who has had 50 plus pets in his life, is an obvious lover and has come to find one thing to be true.

“There are no bad dogs, it’s the people who have the dogs,” Price said.

Ferrell said she wants as many animals to get adopted out of the shelter as possible, but not if this means they will be going to irresponsible owners.

The shelter does all it can to prevent abuse by getting to know adoptees and visiting their home before the adoption process is complete.

“A lot of dogs stay chained up or in a pen that’s not big enough. Having a pet is not a requirement. Be responsible and get a stuffed animal, get a goldfish or a plant. What we must do it to educate people.”

CLICK HERE for the CCAPS website.

CLICK HERE to see the Facebook page, with photos of adoptable cats and dogs.

The shelter’s website has a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

“Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

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