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Have room in your heart for a furry pal? Four Paws needs foster homes

October 2nd, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life, Business

By Marissa Bodily

MILLVILLE–Four Paws Rescue cares for dogs and cats without permanent homes, and urgently needs families willing to provide foster homes for the animals.

There is a great need for foster parents right now. Four Paws can provide most of the items necessary for caring for a pet, including the collar, leash, crate, kennel, food and medical care, said Shannon Clemens, an e-mail volunteer for the rescue operation.

They just want someone who can take the pet into their home and care for it until they can find it a permanent home, she said. Pets can be fostered anywhere from a few days to a couple of months. Short term fosterers to care for pets when someone goes on vacation are also needed.

Lisa Shaw is the founder and director of the business, which was started in June 2000. Shaw is the central caretaker of the animals in the shelter, Clemens said. There is also one part-time paid worker helping out at the shelter. They care mainly for dogs and some cats. Dogs and cats not in the shelter are looked after by foster parents.

Volunteers help with foster parents, web maintenance, e-mail answering, cage cleaning at Petsmart, collecting donated items, accounting and assisting at adoption events. Clemens said Shaw carries out most of the adoptions, janitorial duties at the shelter, pet shuttling to the vet and paperwork.

The cost of adopting a dog is $125 and a cat is $75. Puppies are $150 and small breed dogs are $200. Recently there has been a higher demand for small dogs, Clemens said. The price includes spay or neuter surgery, rabies vaccination and parvo/distemper vaccination for dogs or distemper/FVRCP and feline leukemia vaccination for cats.

Four Paws Rescue will accept back any pet in situations where the adopter can no longer provide for or care for the animal. One dog was returned after 10 years because his owner passed away, Clemens said.

“We will not allow pets to be adopted into homes where they will be chained up all the time or forced to live outside,” Clemens said. The pets have already been through hardships and we want to ensure the best for them in their next home.

“Pets are meant to be part of the family,” she said.

To meet a pet you see online or that Lisa has selected for you call Lisa Shaw at 435-752-3534, leave your name and number and she’ll set up an appointment to show you the pet, usually at the Logan Petsmart for Cache Valley residents or the Layton Petsmart for Wasatch Front residents.

Clemens said some of the dogs live at a shelter facility in Millville. The Millville shelter is not open to the public. The Logan Petsmart cat room is home to 10 cats and some dogs and cats are cared for in temporary foster homes. There are about 150 dogs and 100 cats in the system at any given time.

All pets stay at Four Paws Rescue until they find a home. Cases of terminal illness or extreme aggression are the only times an animal is euthanized. Some of the pets will probably stay forever, like 7-year-old Stevie who is blind, Clemens said. He is sweet as can be, but no one has looked at him in years.

Funds to start the non-profit organization were obtained through a second mortgage on a house and the first annual Moondog Ball, Clemens said.

“What we made the first year we now make in auction items alone,” Clemens said, “It has come to be one of the premier events of Logan.”

The Moondog Ball features a silent auction, belly dancers, live music and hors d’eourves, Clemens said. The 10th Moondog Ball will be held on Oct. 16 at the Logan Country Club. Tickets are available now.

Adoption fees make up only 33 percent of the organization’s income.

The total expense for housing and caring for the animals in 2009 was $107,199. The expenses included food, supplies, licenses, permits, veterinary costs and cleaning expenses. Four Paws Rescue relies on public donations and contributions are 100 percent tax deductible, Clemens said.

Four Paws Rescue can be found on Facebook by searching for Four Paws Rescue. Those interested in volunteering can e-mail scfourpaws@hotmail.com. Clemens said all volunteer roles are “off-site” which means they are shelter-type roles, tasks other than walking dogs or cleaning kennels.


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