When tight budgets are met with great need, creative solutions are in demand. It was just such a scenario that led Pine Bluff Animal Control to introduce Dawgs on the Landing one month ago.
The fundraiser is held every Friday between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. adjacent to Pine Bluff City Hall, with the money raised from the sale of hot dogs, polish sausages and bratwurst going to the care of the shelter’s animals.
“All of the money raised on the hot dog cart will benefit the animals,” said Lt. Michael Jenkins of the Pine Bluff Police Department who is also director of Animal Control. “We use the funds to buy extra bedding and food, and to help people pay for adoption fees and otherwise assist people wanting to adopt an animal.”
Jenkins said he hopes to move the fundraiser to Saracen Landing in order to take advantage of the higher level of foot traffic around Lake Saracen.
Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth fully supports what is being done on behalf of the animals.
“Animal Control has come a long way in the past six months,” Hollingsworth said. “Adoptions are through the roof and our volunteers are unbelievable. They dedicate a lot of hours to it. We are transitioning from a kill shelter to a no-kill shelter. We knew we had to restructure day-to-day operations before going into an improved facility. It’s all about getting the right people in the right places.”
The shelter, located in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 901 N. Haverty Road, is always looking for volunteers to assist in the care of the many animals that come through its doors.
“I’m here three to four days a week because I’m really the only one who works with the cats,” said volunteer Phyllis Tucker.
Tucker held a tiny kitten close to her chest as she fed it through a syringe filled with formula.
“Somebody brought him in today,” Tucker said. “He is another one of my bottle babies. They have to be fed every couple of hours. I already have one about this size at home that I am fostering.”
Tucker said that since she began volunteering in September 2013 she has helped to place more than 100 cats with new owners.
“The people working to get homes for the dogs are amazing,” Tucker said. “They have placed so many.”
Dawn Render is one of the volunteers who works to find homes for dogs.
“I started volunteering about a year ago,” Render said. “We get the word out through social media about the dogs that are up for adoption. Rescue groups from as far away as Boston and Colorado have come and picked up dogs and cats to be placed.”
Volunteers also take the dogs on walks and socialize with them in addition to taking dogs and cats in as foster owners until the animals can be placed in permanent homes.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the animal shelter is asked to call Pine Bluff Animal Control at 870-543-5136.