Pulaski Animal Center Facilitates Much-Needed Dog and Cat Adoptions
Writer / Robert Noah Torres
Pulaski Animal Center is a growing animal shelter within a large county. Like a lone island in a vast sea, it is the only animal center in Pulaski county. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as a rescue for surrendered and homeless dogs and cats in the area. The center is almost entirely run by volunteers, and supported almost entirely by donations. It works to facilitate the placement of its animals in desirable homes. Pulaski Animal Center serves as an example of how to properly start an animal shelter and how to ethically run it in order to provide sound care for animals. On top of this, the team there aims to educate the public about humane animal treatment and how to prevent overpopulation.
The center was founded in the beginning of 2013 through discussion among like-minded people in Pulaski county. At the time there was no animal shelter in the county, and through organization and the determination of those involved, by the end of that year Pulaski Animal Center had been established, along with a board of directors. In early 2014 the center gained 501(c)(3) status and was operating out of a local pet grooming facility that began kenneling dogs for them. By late 2014 the staff members had converted a car garage they had rented into a working shelter. The shelter started with seven cat kennels and seven dog kennels.
“We have expanded a bit since then as far as what we can do on cats, but we are still a very small shelter,” says Manager Ryan Robinson. “We are only funded basically through donations and fundraising, and we don’t get any funding from the county at all.”
The shelter is now able to take up to 13 cats, and has large runs outside for dogs that were converted from cornfields donated by the owner of the old car garage.
The organization began fundraising in 2014 and 2015. Pulaski Animal Center holds an annual fundraiser in April. They are also involved in an upcoming fundraising event on June 4. They will have a space within an upcoming car show. The proceeds from concession sales at the show will be donated to the shelter. Communal donation and cooperation like this is how the center has been able to operate for nearly 10 years, and why it persists as the only shelter in the county. One does not have to live in the county to donate. Robinson helps maintain the organization’s Facebook page, where needed materials are posted along with up-to-date information on the animals and shelter. The center is always in need of certain products such as cat litter, bleach, kitten food, paper towels, Dawn soap and canned dog food. Donations are accepted at the center during business hours.
Robinson has been manager for close to two years, and his primary role is to lead the effort to re-home strays and find proper homes for unwanted animals. Most of the animals in Pulaski are surrenders, which means their owners gave them up. An example of this is a beagle mix who is currently in the care of the shelter. She is over 12 years old, and was originally taken in at the center in 2019 and treated for frostbite on her nose and ears. She had been adopted but was surrendered back to the shelter because of health reasons related to the owner. Since then, like the rest of the animals in the center, she is in need of a decent home where she can live out her life. If an owner cannot be found, Pulaski will be that place, as it is a no-kill shelter.
Those interested in adoption can view the center’s official website, but the most effective way to start the process is to call the center during business hours.