The Herald Bulletin

April 27, 2013

Maleah Stringer: New program to help reduce stress among shelter animals

By Maleah Stringer
For The Herald Bulletin

— I have talked often in this column about how very stressful animal shelters can be for animals who are forced to live there.

The animals often shut down, lose weight, get sick, or become aggressive. In a way to combat this we will be implementing a kennel enrichment program.

Beginning May 1, the Animal Protection League will launch a new program designed to reduce the levels of stress that so many shelter dogs experience. We hope to introduce music throughout the kennel area and create opportunities for the animals to leave our campus for brief periods of rest and relaxation

Our plan is to build a list of local volunteers willing to host a dog for an occasional weekend “getaway,” a walk in a local park or some other short-term excursion. This program comes highly recommended from sister shelters that report the change of scene does wonders for dogs in their care.

Anyone interested in participating can call or stop by our Dewey Street headquarters. We also plan to post on our website a few recipes for pet treats that friends can make and donate. If you would like to help reduce the stress these animals endure while waiting to be adopted email brooke@inapl.org or call 278-9435.

We will be having our third annual Pars for Paws golf tournament on June 6. We have lots of exciting changes. One of them is our partnership with Joe Clark and the Financial Enhancement Group. Their staff is dedicated to helping the animals in our shelter and making this tournament a success.

Team registrations and sponsorships are coming in fast for our annual Pars for Paws Golf Tournament. June 6 is the date; The Edge Golf Course is the place; and 11:45 a.m. is the time. New this year: Sponsors will receive “golfer goodie bags” chock full of surprises. Honors (and prizes) will go to the top men’s team, the top women’s team, and the top co-ed team. Gena Starks is heading up our fantastic committee that is planning the event. You can reach her at 730-9225 or by email at gmstarks@comcast.net.

I want to thank everyone in our community again for your overwhelming response to the farm animals in the Summitville case. We managed to place in foster care in less than 24 hours over 100 animals. This was unbelievable. Not to mention the financial help we have received to help care for them. Hoosier Park made a large donation as a business, not to mention all the individuals who sent donations as well.

The offenders at the Correctional Industrial Facility (where we have our prison programs) with the help of staff had a fundraiser and presented us with a check. Help has come from the most unexpected places. We have also received over 100 adoption applications — soon these animals will be in their permanent homes.

Thank you to the Madison County Sheriff’s department for all your hard work as well as the Madison County Prosecutor’s office. The good in this community is overwhelming.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.