PAAS is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering and to provide a safe haven for homeless dogs and cats in our area. Our mission is to advocate for the animals of northeastern Oklahoma by advancing their welfare, promoting interest, and fostering the human/animal bond through innovative programs, education, and service.
In 2015, one month before we broke ground, Rhonda joined PAAS as our veterinary technician and our journey to building a team in animal rescue had begun.
For the next 4 months, we worked out of an office on Wilson while they were finalizing construction.
In April, we were open!!!
Sometimes you just hit the jackpot – and we did with Rhonda.
She’s an outstanding veterinary technician, a team player, and loves challenges.
Over the past 2/12 years, she has implemented (and manages) our weekly transport to Colorado, our inmate/shelter dog training program at Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center and the implementation of the HSUS Pets for Life.
And, yes, she has other things on the horizon.
Mike fixes everything – – I do mean everything – – high pressure stuff that scares the begeebies out of me, oversees maintenance of our vans, drives transport when needed, manages all the kennel cleaning, feeding/watering/exercising of dogs, cat condos, and ensures the building is clean, smells really good (which is unheard in the world of rescue) and oversees our kennel technician, Doug.
Avis takes care of the bookkeeping, bill paying, checks, reports, anything/everything related to money.
I spend lots of time asking for info and she always has it at her finger tips.
She started working for us in a different capacity, but when the job became available – she stepped up and is doing a great job.
Mary answers the phone – and on any given day it will range from funny to sad to you’ve got to be kidding me.
She listens, offers help, provides information and works closely with Rhonda.
It took them awhile to figure out what/how information needed to be communicated – but they’ve got it down.
Lacee is our go-to- person for Pets For Life – the most comprehensive program I’ve seen for helping people keep their pets in their homes, provide basic veterinary care and the opportunity to have them “fixed”.
She’s been welcomed with open arms by the community and surrounding area and she’s truly making an impact for pets.
There are many different formulas for calculating the number of puppies and kittens that could be born if a pet was not “fixed”.
If you take a very conservative approach, here’s numbers that highlight two things: #1) the sheer number of dogs and cats that could be born in any given area if there is no comprehensive “spay/neuter” program and #2) how serious the problem is for rural Oklahoma communities.
In 2017 – we transported 1,631 dogs/cats to Dumb Friends League in Colorado. All of them were either “fixed” before they left on transport or were “fixed” when they got to Colorado.
So, from a rescue point of view, if each rescued dog/cat had 5 offspring (very conservative), in 2018 that would be 8,155.
One year later – the number would be 40,775.
Then if you add the 600+ spay/neuters done thru our Pet Over Population and Pets for Life programs (1st year = 3,000; 2nd year = 15,000).
Add 40,775 and 15,000 – – the grand total is 55,775.
Two things suddenly become very apparent – – there’s a tremendous need for continued out-of- state transport AND spay/neuter (get ‘em fixed).
It takes both programs, over a 5 year period, for it to truly make a difference. The good news is these programs do make a difference.
Religion and rescue share compassion, passion, and strong beliefs.
However, too often they choose to not work together for a common goal.
In rescue, when this happens – – some or all of the following occurs: On closed groups, bashing becomes a verbal contact sport, progress is halted, wounds are deep and all heck can break loose.
All too often, the original problem or challenge is almost forgotten.
It becomes especially damaging when people are personally, verbally, attacked.
Progress is made, lives are saved and situations can be resolved when everyone thinks twice before hitting the send button and, for a brief moment, read their post as though it was directed TO them.
“Delete” is frequently preferred to “send”.
We do not have to all “save” dogs and cats the same way – – they (the dogs and cats) could care less about “how” they find a new home – – – they just want one.
Home visits work, adoption events work, transfer works – – and the dogs and cats would agree – – – if only they could talk.
Example of collaboration for a common goal: “Charlie Wilson’s War” (movie).
No one trusted anyone – but they all wanted the same goal.
Example of teamwork “The Miracle on Ice”.
The players came from different teams, but they played as a team and beat the Russians.
When differences are pushed too far: The War of Roses.
Everything was lost.
Forgiveness, progress and victory: “Invictus” South Africa did not break out in a civil war, Nelson Mandela forgave those who had incarcerated him, and saw rugby as the unifier for his country… and it worked.
More than 2,000 dogs (and a few cats) have made the trip to a new home in Colorado. It is organized, orderly and no longer chaotic.
We also began a Pet Over Population program for income qualified pet owners within the Vinita city limits.
In addition, we also started in inmate/shelter dog training program at the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center. A program that I strongly believe in – and have seen the positive results from experience with the program at the Lexington Prison.
In April 2017, the HSUS Pets for Life program became a part of PAAS. It is the most comprehensive, life changing, program for pet owners I’ve seen.
And, first hand, I’ve seen the love people have for their pets and the relief in their eyes when they can have their pet “fixed” so there will be no more puppies or kittens.
While our name is PAAS (Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter) – – we are PAAS – the animal resource center for Vinita (and expansion is planned for the entire 74301 zip code, Craig County and beyond).
Stay tuned – – the best is yet to come – – a direction that works, saves lives, reduces pet over-population through comprehensive spay/neuter programs and gives dogs a second chance under the guidance of an inmate trainer.
We’re more successful than we could have ever imagined.
Please join us by volunteering and/or contributing to our important work. We rely on private donations and receive no government funds.
Go HERE to make a financial contribution – and we Thank You!
All of the above dogs have a new home and all of our partners will be bringing us more dogs (and sometimes cats) to make the trip to Colorado.
At this holiday time of year, many puppies and kittens will be under the tree and by January 15th , many of them will have found their way to a local shelter or rescue.
Thankfully, for us and our partners, we have a safe place where they can go – it’s just one very long ride in a heated/air conditioned van and then Happy New Year – there are people waiting for the PAAS Van to arrive so they can find their new pet.
It will be Christmas Magic – that will happen after the New Year.
As you read this another 20+ dogs and lots of kittens/cats will have arrived and probably found a new home.
It will be Christmas Magic.
Here’s a few who made the trip and now have a home: Bitsie, Shorty and Franklin.