Animal Shelter welcomes guests from partners in Midwest

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
The Ardmore Animal Shelter has been transporting animals to shelters in the Midwest for almost a year, and on Thursday, staff members from some of these shelters came down to visit and transport more animals. From left: AAC Board President Scott Sutherland, Quad City Animal Welfare Center Executive Director Patti McRae , King’s Harvest Pet Rescue Intake Coordinator Liz Corn, Quad City Animal Welfare Center Intake Coordinator Shayenne Stiegler, King’s Harvest Pet Rescue Executive Director Terri Gleize, Save our Strays Coordinator Connie Guthrie, AAC Shelter Supervisor Amanda Dinwiddie, AAC Executive Director Kasey Renteria.

For almost a year the Ardmore Animal Shelter has been partnering with organizations in other areas of the country to transport dogs and cats in need of homes to shelters in need of pets. So far hundreds of animals have been rescued in this way, and it has allowed the shelter to stop euthanizing animals due to a lack of space. 

The directors and coordinators from some of these shelters came to Ardmore on Thursday to see the area, meet the local staff, tour the facility, and pick up another load of animals for transport.

Connie Guthrie of Save our Strays was among the guests, and it is her organization that transports the animals to other shelters. Since the end of last June, her efforts have saved almost 800 pets.

“It’s been hard but very much worth it, and we’ve saved a lot of nice dogs, cats, kittens and puppies,” Guthrie said. “I just get the information from here, and I send it to the other shelters. I let them know when we’re going to be transporting, and then they go and count cages to see what they can do.”

She said her husband Dave is the primary driver, and none of this would have been possible without his efforts.

“He drives down here almost every week from Kansas City which is about seven hours,” she said. “Then he loads up the animals and turns around to go to Davenport, Iowa which is about another 10 hours. After that he drives up to Chicago — all in one day.”

Pattie McRe is the executive director of the Quad City Animal Welfare Center in Milan, Ill., and her shelter has received dozens of animals from Ardmore over the past year. She described what happens once these pets arrive.

“We have a separate building where we quarantine the dogs for seven to 10 days, and we make sure that they’re healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered,” McRae said. “Sometimes they come in heart worm positive, so we want to make sure they get the heart worm treatment they need as well which can take awhile. With those dogs we try to put them in homes and have the owners bring them back for their appointments.”

She said social media as well as help from newspapers, television and radio in her area help to see that all these animals find homes.

Terri Gleize, executive director of King’s Harvest Pet Rescue in Davenport, Iowa said her shelter has received hundreds of dogs from Ardmore over the past year.

“Where we’re from almost everybody spays and neuters their animals, but we still have a lot of cats — way more cats than dogs,” Gleize said. “So we pull a lot of dogs and puppies from shelters in the South because there are so many that would probably end up euthanized. We just do our part to facilitate that transfer.”