Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 7, 2012

Animal rescue needs home

Program to be suspended if new location can’t be found

ASHLAND — The Ashland Animal Rescue Fund will have to suspend its program of saving animals targeted for euthanasia at area animal shelters unless it is able to find a new temporary home for the rescued animals by Thursday, said Dave Gillum, founder of the three-year-old animal rescue operation.

AARF has known for months it was losing its current home behind the Summit Veterinary Clinic on Little Garner Road. and has been frantically, and so far unsuccessfully, seeking a new home, Gillum said.

“I don’t blame the owner for what she is doing,” Gillum said. “She has a new use for the building, and she certainly has given us plenty of time to move. It’s just we haven’t been able to find a place.

“It’s crunch time,” Gillum said. “If we don’t find a new home by Thursday we are up a creek. We will have no choice but to stop our program. and that means the animal shelters will have no choice but to euthanize more dogs and cats. As volunteers dedicated to saving animals, that’s the last thing we want to happen.”

There are eight medium- to- large-sized dogs being cared for by AARF volunteers at the shelter, Gillum said. He hopes AARF can find individuals willing to adopt those dogs — at least temporarily — by Thursday so their lives can be saved.

“They are all good dogs who would make good pets,” Gillum said.

AARF is looking for a new home where the animals would be out of the weather. It also needs to have a ready source of water for the animals to drink and to clean the pens. The new home will also need “a little bit of heat,” Gillum said.

The building would probably be needed for only three or four months, Gillum said. By then, the organization hopes to have completed the purchase of property and the construction of a building on it, he said.

In each of the least two years, AARF has received $25,000 from the Pepsi Corp. from votes it received from supporters in an Internet contest. That money can be used for the boarding, feeding and transporting of rescued animals and for supplies for them, but it cannot be used for the medical care of animals, including spaying or neutering, Gillum said. AARF’s veterinary expenses topped $50,000 in 2011.

Since being founded in January 2009, AARF has rescued and found new homes for more than 1,500 dogs and cats given death sentence by area animal shelters, Gillum said.

Gillum said he is off work until Friday and is devoting all of his time toward finding a new home for the rescued animals. If anyone has a suitable facility or knows of one, he asks they call him at (606) 465-2378.

“I know it is a long shot that we will be able to find a place before Thursday, but we have to keep trying,” Gillum said. “The lives of animals are at stake, and we don’t want to stop what we are doing.”

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com (or at 606) 326-2649.

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