Animal rescue groups find shelter

CARE-Net establishes coalition of animal rescue centers

Roy Hayes, CARE-Net founding member, animal trainer and behaviorist, urges the public to participate in a petition campaign to support improved sheltering and adoption of companion animals in Mohave County. He is shown with Kimber, Alkey and Jake (a once starving, rescued dog who completed therapy dog training with its highest designation for complex situations). JC AMBERLYN/Miner

Roy Hayes, CARE-Net founding member, animal trainer and behaviorist, urges the public to participate in a petition campaign to support improved sheltering and adoption of companion animals in Mohave County. He is shown with Kimber, Alkey and Jake (a once starving, rescued dog who completed therapy dog training with its highest designation for complex situations). JC AMBERLYN/Miner

KINGMAN - Mohave County animal advocates have banded together in an effort to give animals a collective voice on urgent issues by forming the Companion Animals Rescue Efforts Network.

According to one of the founding members, Jen Miles, the group formed to unite people who care about improving the well-being of companion animals and to increase the adoption rate and reduce the euthanasia rate across Mohave County. The group's main focus right now is the needs assessment study for Animal Control that is being pursued by the county. In response to this needs assessment, the group is starting a petition.

"Companion Animals Rescue Efforts Network is inviting Mohave County residents to sign a petition voicing their support for improved shelter and care of companion animals that have been discarded or abandoned. This petition asks the Mohave County Board of Supervisors to support collaborative efforts to increase animal adoption and reduce Mohave County's high euthanasia rate of dogs and cats. It calls for public education regarding animal welfare and increased spay and neuter campaigns. The petition will support requests for new, adoption-friendly shelter facilities with increased staff and training," a recent news release said.

The CARE-Net coalition has combined the forces of Help Animals Lives Today, Rescued Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation, For the Luv of Paws, Petco, area animal shelters, dog trainers and more into one.

"CARE-Net is needed now. The county is pursuing a needs assessment study for Animal Control that encompasses the next 15 to 20 years," said founding member Roy Hayes.

"The petition is a way that the public can voice its desire for improved shelters, increased adoptions, public education and spay and neuter campaigns," said Hayes, an animal trainer and behaviorist.

"In my experience, most dogs or cats that are in shelters could be matched with a loving home in the community that matches the animals' temperament and training. We need to work together to give these animals a chance to find their forever homes."

Miles said the group met for the first time in January after they became aware of the needs assessment. The idea of the group came about because of conversations with Lotti Benker, president of H.A.L.T., and Hayes where they decided everyone needed to come together.

The idea behind the group, Miles said, was to change the environment in which animal advocates work separately to one of cooperation throughout the county.

They have been able to distribute the petition all over the county and already have 700 signatures, she said.

They want to have the Board of Supervisors mandate the Sheriff's Office to cooperate with CARE-Net and consult them regarding the animal shelter, and to mandate the vendor doing the needs assessment work with the coalition as well.

Miles said the group is also asking that the Board budget new facilities for the fiscal year 2008.

While the group is not currently open to new members, Miles said the general public could support the coalition by signing the petitions and volunteering.

She said volunteers could do a multitude of things such as playing with the shelter animals, temporarily or permanently adopting a pet, or simply donating to one of the various rescue groups around the county.

The petition sites can be found in Kingman at Petco, 3320 Stockton Hill Road; or Paws-itively Charming Thrift Shoppe & Pet Boutique, 117 North Sixth St.

For more information, contact Roy Hayes at 897-9494, Lotti Benker at 692-8940, Hillarie Allison at 565-BARK or Cherie DaLynne at 897-7304.