Pool time with your pooch

File photos by Curt Nettinga/Plainsman Dogs and owners enjoy the Four Paws Pool Party held in 2021.

Grab a leash and your dog’s favorite water toy and head over to Splash Central Waterpark for the annual Four Paws Pool Party from 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

Since this fundraiser to let dogs play in the water began in 2015, it has brought in more than $10,000 for the Beadle County Humane Society, said shelter director Kim Krueger.

“People can come and watch, even without a dog,” Krueger said of the event. “Some with bigger dogs will throw toys in the water and the dogs will jump off and swim after them. It’s a lot of fun.

“It’s a hoot to watch, it’s fun to see all the animals,” she said.

The cost is $5 per dog (humans are free) but cannot swim unless their pet needs assistance. There is a limit of two dogs per adult owner.

Dogs must be spayed or neutered and up to date on all vaccinations, dogs. Dogs must be leashed when not in the water, and doggy bags will be provided for owners to pick up after their animals.

From January through June 2022, they’ve had 367 animals come through the shelter doors. Right now they have two dogs and 37 cats on site, with another 20 cats and kittens in foster care. One of the dogs in their care is a stray and its owner will be claiming it.

“The other dog available for adoption is a Bichon-mix,” Krueger said. “We’re supposed to get two more Bichon-mixes on Monday. It’s a small dog, similar to a poodle, with generally a white coat.

“We’re limited to what we can take in just because we have limited staff and we need to provide the quality care each and every animal deserves,” she added. “The cats just keep coming right now. Between shelter and foster cats, we have four mother cats with kittens. We have only so many kennels and so many staff to take care of them.”

Along with Krueger, the shelter has two full time employees and three part-time employees who work from 10 to 20 hours a week. There are also a couple of volunteers who come on a regular basis to help walk the dogs in the dog park on site.

“A few weeks back we had 11 cats dropped off in the breezeway, but that is not climate controlled, and the door does not latch or lock,” Krueger said. “We had kennels in there, but please, please, do it the right way. It’s nice to have information on them. If we say we can’t help right now, there’s a reason for that. It adds additional strain when they’re dumped in the breezeway.”

Krueger said they have to hold the animal three business days to see if the animal will be claimed by an owner before they can be placed on the adoption list.

When the pandemic began, the shelter replaced its regular hours of operation with being open by appointment only. That has worked well and they plan to continue scheduling visitors who wish to stop by the shelter.

“If we have no appointments after 12 p.m., we won’t pay staff to stay there until 4 p.m.,” she said. “We’ll close the office. We want to make sure we’re spending the money where it belongs, and that’s taking care of the animals, spaying and neutering, keeping them vaccinated.”

Krueger said she encourages people to go online to see pets available for adoption at [email protected] and call the shelter at 352-8955 to make an appointment if they want to see any of the pets. Saturday appointments need to be made during the week so they can staff accordingly.

“We see less recidivism by doing that,” she added. “We’re not seeing so many impulse adoptions. We welcome people to come out and visit, it’s just safe to call first.”

The shelter took in 786 animals in 2021, with 229 adopted from that number. Krueger said she and her staff attempt to educate pet owners about the responsibilities surrounding pet ownership. Many animals were adopted during the pandemic, and the increase in animals being surrendered back to shelters is being felt nationwide.

“I’m constantly preaching spay-neuter, spay-neuter so we can control the pet population,” Krueger said. “We were at 106 surgeries to spay or neuter for 2021. We’re probably about half of that for this year so far.

“If you’re considering adopting or getting a pet, make sure your family has a discussion and understands taking on an animal is taking them on forever,” Krueger added.

Donations of money or products that are used daily at the Beadle County Humane Society are always welcome.

Things the shelter uses and needs consistently include scoopable cat litter, kitten chow, bleach, paper towels, dish soap, laundry soap and Pine-Sol.

These can be brought directly to the shelter at 5063 Dakota Ave. S., or placed in a donation box for the humane society located at Runnings.

File photos by Curt Nettinga/Plainsman Dogs and owners enjoy the Four Paws Pool Party held in 2021.

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