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Rescuing Yukon Animals: Pets & People

By Elisha Neubauer

Pets & People began in 1995 with a small band of volunteers. Since that time, the organization has placed over 45,000 dogs and cats in forever homes and has grown to over 300 members- many of whom are regular donors- with over 100 active volunteers at any one time. The supportive members of Pets & People are responsible for saving hundreds of lives every month.

Primarily, Pets & People focuses on animals in the city of Yukon Animal Shelter. Volunteer Edy Bauer explains, "Our focus is on those pets in shelters on 'death row'. We don't take strays or unwanted pets. We save what precious few openings we get for those in shelters about to die today." According to Bauer, there are no municipal shelters in Oklahoma that are non-kill. "All of the city supported animal shelters have a holding period for strays and owner relinquished animals. Unfortunately many of these pets do not get reclaimed and are in peril of euthanization. This is when we and other rescues must step in."

Bauer says the spring and summer are the busiest times of the year for the municipal shelters and rescue organizations alike. Adoptions tend to slow down while the number of owner relinquishes increases, causing drastic overpopulation within the shelters.

Pets & People receives no funding from the federal or state government. The group solely depends on donors to fulfill its mission of saving castoff pets and finding them permanent, loving homes. On average, approximately 1200 animals are placed per year. Each animal placed is spayed or neutered, tested for diseases such as heartworm and feline leukemia, vaccinated, wormed, and given preventatives like heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative. Until the rescued pet is adopted, they are housed at the shelter or in an accommodating foster home- ensuring that they feel safe, loved, and protected.

Several fundraisers are held annually for those who are interested in helping to support the growing population of discarded animals. In September, Pets & People holds a dog wash and vendor show called Pawsitively Pampered. The third Saturday in November is reserved for an annual silent auction and dinner, which consists of over 500 auctioned items, great food, and a lot of fun. If you are interested in supporting Pets & People but are unable to attend these yearly fundraisers, the group operates a thrift store open Tuesday through Saturday at 322 Elm Avenue in Yukon.

Supporting a rescue does not always have to be monetary. Pets & People is always in need of everything from stuffed animals for the pets to newspapers for the cages, old towels and blankets for bedding and most of all, enthusiastic volunteers.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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