1st Picture: "Buffalo South Beauties" - Front Row: Elliot Geer, Rowan Geer and Atala Johnson; Back Row: Morgan Johnson, Lainey Rutter and Rory Geer with Kim Nelson, Shelter Manager and Sally, the shelter's office dog.
The Drive to Save Lives...One Road Trip at a Time!
Pictured - Borrowed Cargo Van from Flint Ridge Animal Rescue, Kansas, OK;Benji - Transported to Golden Valley, MN for adoption;
On the shelter intake form at the Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake, there is a blank space labeled “reason for surrender,” which describes in just a few short words, why an animal's owner has made the decision to voluntarily relinquish him/her to the shelter. "Sheds...Destructive...Barks...Can't keep in my yard...Digs...Divorce...New Baby...Moving...Boyfriend doesn't like...New Job...Allergies...Not enough time for...Too expensive...Too much work...Too old...Too many...Too big...Too small...My dog/cat got pregnant...Can't find homes for the puppies or kittens...And I don't want anymore!" These are just a few of the reasons an animal become homeless.
And not included on this list are those animals that have been abandoned under darkness of night, abused, or discarded somewhere and are now homeless. For whatever reason, the number one responsibility of the Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake is to now provide a clean and safe refuge for any homeless animal that has been able to find their way to our rescue shelter until a loving home can be found.The Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake is a 501(c)3 nonprofit animal welfare organization that was created in 1984, in Grove, Oklahoma. It is a private, no-kill animal rescue that is not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States or the ASPCA, but is a private shelter that operates only through money received from private donations, its fundraisers, and from proceeds generated by its Second Chance Thrift Shop in downtown Grove.
Our rescue shelter faces daily serious overcrowding with the number of animals that are surrendered, abandoned or discarded. When the shelter is filled to capacity, there simply is no more room for additional homeless animals until others can be adopted. But sadly, there is just not a large enough population in the Northeast Oklahoma communities to provide homes for all of the homeless animals in this area. Yet something had to be done to save the lives of the homeless animals.
So, the Grove Humane Society entered into a Canine Transfer Partnership with the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley, Minnesota, to give homeless animals a chance at finding their forever home. Because of mandatory spay and neuter regulations in the state of Minnesota, there is not a pet overpopulation problem as there is in Northeast Oklahoma. Golden Valley is a large suburb of Minneapolis with families wanting to rescue a shelter animal instead of buying from a pet store or breeder.
Transport of dogs from the Grove Humane Society to Minnesota usually takes place once every month. So, on Friday evening, August 16th, volunteers began to walk, pet, and kiss goodbye 43 dogs from the shelter. They were loaded into pet crates and then into a large cargo van borrowed from Flint Ridge Animal Shelter in Kansas, Oklahoma, for a long 10-hour drive to Golden Valley, Minnesota. By the end of the eventing, there were volunteers with tears of joy and with smiles all around because they knew that these homeless animals are the lucky ones--their lives were saved and they will be adopted into a loving home.
Since the inception of this transfer program almost 2 years ago, the Grove Humane Society has saved the lives of almost 1,000 dogs. The dogs transported to out-of-state facilities must have required vaccinations and veterinarian provided health certificates for each dog in order to be transported to another state. All of the veterinarian costs, vaccinations, gasoline, food and lodging expenses for the volunteer who makes this long road trip is paid for by the Grove Humane Society, and it averages about $100 per dog. The dedicated volunteer who makes this road trip each month is Tom Richardson of Afton, Oklahoma. Once the dogs are loaded into a van, he then drives through the night to Golden Valley, arriving at the shelter when the doors open the next morning (along with a box of fresh donuts for the shelter staff).
It is a Cinderella story with happy endings as all dogs transported have found their forever homes. The Grove Humane Society occasionally receives wonderful letters from the adoptive families that tell us how grateful they are that we cared enough to bring their newest family pet from Oklahoma to Minnesota. One of the lucky dogs getting a second chance in Minnesota is Benji, a large three-legged dog who had personality plus, but no one was interested in giving him a home here in Oklahoma. When the Golden Valley staff unloaded Benji's crate, they immediately fell in love with this gentle, lovable dog. He will surely find his forever family soon.
The Grove Humane Society relies on the support of our communities and individuals who care about what happens to homeless animals in this area. The “Drive to Save Lives” must continue until the pet overpopulation problem in this area has been eliminated and there are no more homeless animals. People must become responsible pet owners and spay or neuter their pets to stop unwanted litters of dogs and cats.
Please help the Grove Humane Society continue to save lives - one road trip at a time! The Grove Humane Society needs donations to continue its Canine Transfer Program and also to purchase a large cargo van much like the one that was borrowed from Flint Ridge Animal Rescue. If you can help, please make your tax-deductible donation to the Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake, P.O. Box 451205, Grove, OK 74345-1205.
Grove Humane Society Receives Check from Grove Elks LodgePictured L-R: Kim Nelson, Shelter Manager; Lou Murry, Karen Dazzo and Gail Wright with the Grove Elks Lodge