BARL needs adopters for animals

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

Christmas gifts have been opened, and now many folks are makingplans for the upcoming year. Brookhaven Animal Rescue Leagueofficials are hoping a number of cats and dogs will be included inthose plans.

With 70 dogs and plenty of cats, BARL is experiencing a majorovercrowding problem. Adoptions are the only solution for theno-kill, non-profit organization.

“It’s the most we’ve ever had. I just wish we could find homesfor some of these in the next few weeks,” said Stacy Walker,chairperson of BARL’s executive committee.

Adoptions can be made by calling 757-4367, or by dropping byBARL’s facility adjacent to Hartley Gove Sons Thermometer Plant,located at the corner of North First Street and North Park Drive inIndustrial Park. The facility has adoption days from 8 a.m. untilnoon almost every Saturday.

Those wishing to adopt should make sure they can provide foodand shelter. Pets should also have proper identification tags. Theadoption fee is $40.

“They’re getting a deal because the animals have already hadtheir shots, been spayed and neutered, and they have permanentidentification,” said volunteer Beth Adcock, mentioning theidentification chip implanted in the animals’ necks.

Due to the overcrowding, many abandoned Lincoln County animalshave not been able to receive the care and shelter they need duringthe cold weather.

BARL has had to stop accepting animals in order to prevent anunhealthy situation.

“We’ve turned down so many dogs in the past three to fourweeks,” said Adcock.

Animals will be accepted again once a number of dogs and catsare adopted, said volunteers.

“We ask people to be patient with us during this time ofovercrowding,” she said.

Besides the need for generous people to open their hearts andhomes to these animals, BARL is looking for volunteers to help carefor the dogs.

“Our pens are very crowded, which means it takes a lot morepeople to keep the pens clean,” said Walker.

During a recent cleanup and medication day, Deanna Mills ofMcComb and Leslie Hobgood of Tylertown spent their day off cleaningthe numerous pens.

“This is the only day they do this that I was off,” saidHobgood, who encouraged her friend, Mills, to come along tohelp.

They were two of only five volunteers who had the mountainouschore of cleaning all the pens and giving the animals neededmedicine.

BARL is also in need of dog food, cat food, dog houses anddonations to pay for veterinarian bills. Donations are also beingsought to help BARL build a new facility for the animals.

Plans are for a new facility to be built near the currentlocation. The facility will improve BARL’s services to thecommunity as well as give the animals a better home while theyawait adoption. Cats are housed at local veterinarians’ offices,but dogs are kept in an outdoor facility.

In the current outdoor facility, dogs have to fend against badweather and other problems, such as insects, rats and mice.

“If we had concrete and metal walls, like we want to build, itwould help a lot,” said volunteer Tom Ross.

Plans have already been drawn, but BARL still needsapproximately $100,000 to start the project. Donations aretax-deductible.

Those who wish to donate, but cannot give money, can collect inkcartridges and aluminum cans for BARL. People can also donate itemsto be auctioned as a fund raiser, said Adcock.

BARL representatives encourage pet owners to care for theiranimals properly. Animals should have proper identification on acollar at all times to prevent being lost.

Those who adopt a pet from BARL are allowed to bring theiranimal back “if it doesn’t work out,” said Adcock.

“We want the people to be happy,” she said.

Anyone wishing to volunteer their time can go to the facilityevery other Monday for work days and medication days. Awork-medication day will be held from 3-5 p.m. today, and again intwo weeks on Jan. 12.