The Scratch Pad

Common Bonds' monthly newsletter for May 2023

Oklahoma Animal Shelter Teams with Air Transport to Relocate Dogs

Captain Maresca piloted the Dog Is My Co-Pilot Inc. flight to relocate dogs from Norman Animal Welfare to homes in Colorado and Oregon on May 16.

The need for shelter animal transport is greater than ever in Oklahoma, yet there are currently fewer opportunities to relocate dogs and cats because rescues in other states are also feeling the intake strain. Thankfully, Norman Animal Welfare was able to secure a better future for 58 of its dogs and puppies during a May 16 flight made possible by Dog Is My CoPilot Inc.

NAW staff started their day at 2am to prep and board their shelter dogs, which left from Max Westheimer Airport in Norman for new homes in Colorado and Oregon. Norman Animal Welfare has since learned that their dogs arrived without a hitch and are getting settled into their new homes.

“Just knowing these shelter dogs are going into homes takes the sting out of saying goodbye,” said Kellee Robertson, Norman Animal Welfare Manager. “When I watched the plane leave the runway, there was an overwhelming sense of relief knowing these animals wouldn’t be in cages anymore.”

Norman Animal Welfare worked with Dog Is My CoPilot’s Rescue Flight Coordinator for several months to prepare for the flight, which was sponsored by Lulu’s Fund. Other Dog is My CoPilot flights to relocate Norman Animal Welfare dogs are scheduled in July, September, and October.

Norman Animal Welfare staff prepped and boarded
58 dogs and puppies for transport on May 16.

State’s Largest Animal Shelter Reopens to Unsustainable Intake Following Dog Flu

Oklahoma City Animal Welfare staff are absorbing a tsunami of animal surrenders as the city shelter reopens its doors following a canine influenza outbreak. According to the shelter’s daily report cards for May 15 and 16 posted on OKC Animal Welfare’s Facebook page, 269 animals entered the shelter in just two days, an unsustainable intake number that quickly pushed the shelter over capacity for dogs. OKC Animal Welfare needs the community’s help now more than ever, with 100 dogs that were already adoption-ready before the shelter was forced to close last month seeking new homes. Oklahoma City Animal Welfare operates the state’s largest animal shelter, with an annual intake of nearly 20,000 cats and dogs. That’s nearly one of every five animals entering Oklahoma’s 120 animal shelters each year.

Common Bonds Visits Blackwell Animal Shelter

Blackwell Animal Control Manager Cindy Yinger and ACO Chrystal Parson.

Common Bonds Community Engagement Co-chair Vickie Grantz and Director Kelly Burley traveled to Blackwell Friday, May 12 to visit with the Blackwell Animal Shelter team, led by Manager Cindy Yinger. Blackwell, located in Kay County northwest of Ponca City, has a population of 7,000 and takes in nearly 700 animals per year.

Recently, the shelter announced that it would begin having shelter animals fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered before leaving the shelter, thanks to a partnership with Blackwell Animal Hospital. Yinger says she would like to see every community emphasize spay/neuter as the best long-term solution to overcome the shelter animal population crisis. She says it is heartbreaking to put in the hard work to save animal lives only to see their unintended litters needing shelter care. Thank you, Cindy and Chrystal, for all you do for the animals of Blackwell!

Animal Rescue Selected as one of state’s Top Nonprofits

NaCole Torrez, Director of Altus Animal Welfare Association’s Pets for Life program, attended the ONE Award ceremony recognizing Altus Animal Welfare Association one of Oklahoma’s top nonprofit organizations.

Altus Animal Welfare Association was runner-up in the ‘general impact’ category of the ONE Award (Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence) by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. The 2023 One Awards finalists and winners were announced during an event at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa on April 22. One of AAWA’s signature initiatives is the Pets for Life program, which began in May 2019 as an outreach to underserved neighborhoods in Altus to offer free pet care resources services and information. To date, more than 700 pets have been spayed/neutered and a total of 94,000 medications, services, or supplies have been provided to Altus pets.

June 2023 Pet Holidays

Adopt-A-Cat Month
Adopt a Sheler Cat Month
National Microchipping Month
National Pet Preparedness Month
Social Pet-working Month

June 4-10: Pet Appreciation Week
June 19-25: Animal Rights Awareness Week
June 19-23: Take Your Dog to Work Week

June 4: Hug Your Cat Day
June 4: National Animal Rights Day
June 10: Missing Mutts Awareness Day
June 13: World Pet Memorial Day
June 16: Ugliest Dog Day
June 19: National Pets in Film Day
June 19: Take Your Cat to Work Day
June 21: National Dog Party Day
June 23: Take Your Dog to Work Day

What’s happening at your shelter? Share your work with us so we can share it with the Common Bonds network. Email [email protected] and thank you for all you do for the animals of Oklahoma!