FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The Sebastian County Humane Society is getting closer to its goal of becoming a no-kill shelter. Thanks to a $15,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the animal shelter is now able to transport animals to states up north.
“We are the largest shelter in the state of Arkansas,” Terrance Richardson with the humane society said. “Right now we are extremely overcrowded and overpopulated.”
At 3 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 1), staff from the SCHS loaded up two vans full of 34 dogs and puppies and headed for Chicago. The goal of the humane society is to become a no-kill shelter, and Richardson said this will help with that.
“Through transporting, we can get some of those animals up north to where they actually need them,” Richardson said.
The SCHS is a non-profit organization powered by donations and volunteers.
“Our funds really don't go as far as people think they do with the numbers of animals we're seeing,” Richardson said.
Right now, the shelter has more than 200 dogs and more than 300 cats.
“Spay and neutering would really help our area, but until we can get that under control, transportation is what's really going to save us and allow us to have more room and take in more animals,” Richardson said.
The shelter plans on transporting more groups of animals to Chicago, Wisconsin and Oregon within the next two months.
“We are completely overpopulated here in the south,” Richardson explained. “That’s why we're sending animals up north because they have strict licensing laws. They have strict spay and neuter laws, and there's actually a demand for animals there.”
In addition to getting your pets spayed and neutered, the SCHS strongly encourages people to get your pets the basic vaccinations, so they don’t contract heartworm. Dogs have been euthanized because heartworm is so expensive to treat.