By Tonya Little
The Midwest City Animal Shelter, located at 7221 NE 36th St., has seen a steady increase in adoptions over the last several years. This, according to the shelter spokesperson Major Robert Cornelison, is due to their philosophy at the shelter.
“Our increase in numbers is because of our philosophy which has been ‘What’s best for the animal?’ As well as a mission to reunite the animal either with the original owners if we can find them, or to get it to a good family. That’s been our goal to always get those numbers up as high as we can, if the animal is adoptable. We do that is through several different ways,” said Cornelison.
One of those ways is that the shelter maintains an active Facebook page, which allows them to post pictures of animals that have been brought into the shelter. If the animal is just a lost pet, this gives people a chance to share the picture and come look at the pictures if they have a pet missing, giving the pet a higher chance of being reunited with its family. It also allows people who are searching for a pet access to easily see what the shelter has available. The shelter also partners with several different rescue centers located all over the state, so if they are unable to keep an animal much longer they have rescue organizations who are willing to take the animals and continue to search for a home for it.
Stray animals that are brought into the shelter are held for five days before being assessed for adoption, which allows community members the chance to come and see if it is their lost pet first before being adopted out. If the animal is tagged or microchipped then it is held for seven days before adoption processes cane begin. However owner surrendered animals can be made available immediately if the animal is considered adoptable. There is a $20 fee for each animal surrendered by an owner and no guarantees can be made that the animal will be adopted.
The Shelter also holds frequent adoption events, usually every Sunday unless something prevents it from happening. Hosting adoption events often allows them the opportunity to find homes quickly for the animals as well. Although understaffed at the moment, the shelter is in the process of correcting that, and is always looking for more volunteers who want to work with the shelter.
“There are most certainly opportunities for volunteers. A lot of our success on the way that the animals are treated and in our ability to get the animals into a good home is based on our hardworking volunteers. We need everything from somebody that can just answer the phones, to help get the word out there, to help at the kennels, to help take care of animals, and to help with the adoption events,” said Cornelison.
If you are interested in volunteering you can contact the shelter at (405) 427-6640. Although generally you must be 18 or older to volunteer, exceptions are made for groups of youth who come out as a project, for example Boy Scouts or schools.
“We always take donations as well. A lot of people want to send toys and bedding and stuff like that but because there is such a turnover in the kennels we have to be really careful about what type of material is in there for the safety of the animals and so we don’t spread disease or anything like that. Be sure to contact the shelter first to make sure it’s something that we can use, including types of food. We actually do count on our donations for both goods and funding,” said Cornelison.
The shelter is open six days a week, closed on Sunday for the adoption events at other locations. Their hours are from 8am-6pm. They have adoption fees of $40 for cats and $45 for dogs, which includes spay/neuter and a rabies vaccination.
“A lot of people simply do not know that it’s here. They assume Oklahoma City shelter is the only one out there on 29th St. but ours has been here for the last 30 years basically. If people will get on our Facebook page they can see what’s available,” said Cornelison.