HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – In Hempstead County, the Hope Animal Shelter is giving animals abandoned and abused some hope for a better life.
On most days, each of the stalls at the shelter are full.
“On average we have anywhere from 20 to 30 dogs at most times,” said Animal Control Director Tammy Austin.
The shelter’s capacity is 20 runs.
Most of the dogs-in-residence are strays found walking the streets or animals found in abusive situations.
Austin said she’s giving each animal found a new lease on life.
“They’re treated with respect,” said Austin. “We’ve had dogs come in here that were aggressive, and then within a few days, they’re licking your hand because all it takes is a little bit of TLC and some Milk-Bones.”
The rescue group Hope for Paws helps provide medical treatment and fostering for the dogs brought to the shelter.
“We want to make sure that they don’t go into the life that they came out of,” said Jo Ann Sandlin. “That they have a safe environment.”
“If we didn’t have our local rescue group, it would basically be a warehouse of house dogs to be euthanized,” said Austin.
Hope for Paws also helps cover costs for vaccinations and other expenses to make adoption more affordable. Fees for puppies and adult dogs are less than $100 at the facility. Still, Austin said it’s a struggle to find fur-ever homes.
“There’s community support, ‘Yes, you’re doing a good job, doing a good job,’ but it’s not the adoptions,” said Austin. “The adoptions are too low.”
The Hope Animal Shelter is open seven days a week, and if you want to adopt, officials say you just need two things:
“Love and a good home,” said Austin.