A dog rescue based in Crawford County is looking to recruit volunteers.
Pawzatively Canine, a 501(c)3 non profit dog rescue, is hosting a volunteer recruitment meeting at the Boys and Girls Club of the Alma Area at 410 E. Main St. in Alma on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m.
“As you know, Crawford County does not have a shelter so it is left up to local rescues, groups and individuals to take this task on,” said Donna Sullivan, president Pawzatively Canine. “We are hosting a new volunteer meeting this Thursday … to add to our volunteer team so we can tackle this huge problem of abandoned and stray dogs with nowhere to go.”
Sullivan said the majority of Pawzatively Canine’s rescued puppies and dogs are placed as canine comfort companions to veterans, disabled individuals, children, adults and seniors with emotional, physical or mental issues.
“We take a dog that has no options and pair them with a person that has no options and give them a second lease on life,” Sullivan said.
Dogs that do not fit into the canine companion program are then placed as family companions, Sullivan said.
Pawzatively Canine volunteers also provide education and canine visitations to nursing homes and hospice, Sullivan said.
“We’re trying to do an all around (initiative) to give people and dogs a connection so people understand the dogs need a permanent home,” she said.
Created in May 2015, Pawzatively Canine rescues puppies and dogs in rural areas of Crawford County such as Mulberry, Dyer, Alma, Mountainburg, Kibler and Rudy, Sullivan said.
“Without a Crawford County Humane Society or town shelters, our small rural towns struggle with limited resources and funds to handle the abandoned and stray dog population,” Sullivan said. “That is where a group like us comes in.”
About two acres of county land near Mulberry was donated to the group to build a foster facility. A fundraiser for its construction is set for Nov. 12 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 8845 in Fort Smith beginning at 5:30 p.m.
While the group works on raising money to build the rescue, private individuals foster animals picked up by Pawzatively Canine.
At the temporary foster homes, the animals are treated for medical conditions and vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and given basic training before they are permanently homed, Sullivan said.
But unfortunately, Pawzatively Canine does not have enough individuals to foster the amount of dogs dumped in the rural areas of the county, Sullivan said. Volunteers are needed to assist in all areas of rescue, she said.
Sullivan and other volunteers are networking with area cities and hope to expand the program throughout the county, she said.
More information on the rescue, its fundraising events and volunteering can be found at Pawzativelycanine.weebly.com.