The original problem was too many unwanted dogs and cats.
Within two months of opening, the Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter in Vinita was full: 50 dogs and 60 cats, surrendered by their owners and rescued from the Vinita Police Department’s Animal Control dog pound.
A waiting list was established for people wanting to give up their pets, soon topping out at 100+ dogs and 150+ cats.
We instituted an aggressive adoption outreach program, setting up booths and tables at every possible local event, being a presence in local parades, and such public locations as banks and stores.
Thanks to Janet Link, the Vinita Daily Journal provided extensive coverage of PAAS activities and urged the public to become involved and adopt our unwanted dogs and cats.
We were — and continue to be — a constant presence on social media making the public aware of the availability of the many dogs and cats needing homes.
In spite of these efforts, local animal-lovers were just not coming forward in sufficient numbers to solve our problem of too many local unwanted animals. An innovative solution was needed.
The Out-of- State Transport Solution: PAAS “Ride to Rescue”
PAAS Executive Director Kay Stout, who not only had experience in animal rescue but also spent many years in the corporate world, sought a solution to the problem using her extensive networks in the national animal welfare field.
She connected with Denver Dumb Friends League (DDFL), who conditionally accepted a few dogs from PAAS in mid-2015.
Colorado has a long and successful history of promoting the spaying or neutering of animals to the extent that there is actually a public need for adoptable dogs.
Local unwanted dogs are now finding loving forever homes in Colorado, solving PAAS’ immediate problem. DDFL has become a loyal out-of- state adoption partner with PAAS.
Since PAAS has been transporting dogs out of state, we have developed a reputation in the animal welfare community for providing healthy, socialized, adoptable dogs.
PAAS has been able to expand this needed service to areas of rural Oklahoma beyond Craig County, and has become a regional hub for the collection and transport of unwanted dogs.
PAAS now organizes and manages a network of non-profit rescues and shelters throughout our region and ensures that they meet the high standards required by Denver Dumb Friends League who finds homes for their animals.
Those partner organizations in rural Oklahoma include the following: Poteau Humane Society, 3 Girls Rescue (also in Poteau), Pauls Valley Municipal Shelter, Bartlesville SPCA, Tulsa SPCA, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, Sapulpa Municipal Shelter, Cimarron Valley Humane Society, and others.
By mid-2017, PAAS is transporting 130+ unwanted Oklahoma dogs per month to Colorado where their new forever homes are enthusiastically waiting for them.
PAAS is licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to transport animals into their state.
To fund this creative solution to a serious rural Oklahoma problem, PAAS has received generous grants from funders with great vision in the field of animal welfare.