Animals are introduced to us at an incredibly young age. In the beginning of our existence, we are automatically informed that we share this world with more than ourselves.
Nursery rhymes and children’s books welcomed us to explore the animal kingdom with main characters such as Peter Rabbit and Mary’s lamb. As we age, our relationship and understanding of animals may change by experience and interaction. However that may be formed, a relationship with the animal world exists throughout our lives.
“Pets are humanizing,” said actor and animal activist James Cromwell, famous for his role in the movie “Babe.” “They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” Several local organizations have taken that work to heart.
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, in collaboration with several animal welfare organizations, is taking the responsibility seriously.
After finding 10 dogs dumped on her property, OAA President Jamee Suarez asked the Tulsa SPCA for their help. The group’s response inspired Suarez, who soon began to volunteer for the organization.
“I never knew the magnitude of pet overpopulation until I volunteered,” she says.
Suarez decided that she needed to do more. She and several others traveled to New York City to speak with Jane Hoffmann, president of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, to learn about animal alliances and the impact that they have.
Oklahoma’s Alliance for Animals was established in 2004. With a collaborative force of animal welfare organizations across the state, the nonprofit organization had found a purpose. Its mission is simple: to reduce pet overpopulation, encourage responsible pet ownership, and promote the humane treatment of animals through community education.
OAA hopes to begin reducing pet overpopulation by stopping it at its root. For the month of February, OAA teams up with Spay Oklahoma for its “Hip to Snip” event. By providing funds, OAA is able to help Spay Oklahoma provide low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners who would not be able to afford the procedures. OAA is also working with Spay Oklahoma on a year-round voucher, providing help to those who are eligible based on financial need.
According to Spay Oklahoma, an estimated 11 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year. Shelters cannot keep up with the influx of animals coming in the door, and must turn to euthanasia.
Having room for the animals is key. A former employee of Oklahoma Alliance for Animals began advocating to provide holding facilities so animals have a place to stay while they are temporarily in shelters. The plan, funded through Tulsa architects Olsen-Coffey, became reality. Facilities are already up and running in Collinsville and Eufaula. The cost of building a shelter is approximately $25,000-to $30,000.
Suarez is excited about the movement and hopes that more holding facilities will be built in the future. “We recently have partnered with Capital Steel out of Skiatook, Oklahoma, to provide the construction,” she says. “Once a city agrees and is on board, OAA will provide a $500 grant to kick off their campaign.”
OAA’s team-effort programs are expanding. “Pawsitively Pits” provides free neuter and spay services during pit bull awareness week to pit bulls and pit bull mixes, the most prevalent type of dog entering shelters today. “Unchain Oklahoma” is educating pet-owners on the importance of keeping their pets near them and educating pet-owners on the negative effects of chaining them outdoors.
Oklahoma Alliance for Animals is more than a collaboration of organizations. Within these organizations are individuals-who have jobs and families, people like you and me. By supporting, adopting, volunteering, and/or donating, you are making a difference.
Below is a list of reputable animal welfare organizations. For a full list of OAA supporters and volunteer opportunities, go to AnimalAllianceOK.org.
Tulsa Animal Welfare
A division of Working in Neighborhoods, Tulsa Animals Welfare is the city department responsible for the welfare of animals in our community. Their services include: picking up stray animals, reuniting lost pets with their owners, and finding new homes for unwanted pets. They are currently in need of “in-kind” donations of pet animal care supplies, cleaning products, office supplies, and other materials that can be used to support the shelter’s activities.
Tulsa Animal Welfare is located at 3031 N. Eerie. Visit their website at CityofTulsa.org
Amore Pit Bull Rescue
Amore Pit Bull Rescue, rescues and finds homes for unwanted and abandoned pit bulls. They are currently seeking volunteers that will be able to give their dogs one-on-one attention, creating that connection that otherwise would not be readily available. Donations can be dropped off at Southern Agriculture in Tulsa Hills. For more information please contact Amore Pit Bull Rescue at 918.230.0828 or by email at AmorePitbullRescue@outlook.com. You can also like them on Facebook at Facebook.com/AmorePitbullRescue
Tulsa Humane Society
Tulsa Humane Society is a private non-profit organization. Their mission is to promote responsible pet ownership and pet population control. Completely funded through private donors, financial support is key to their success. They are always open to volunteers. You can find a wish list of supplies on their website at TulsaPets.com. Tulsa Humane Society is located at 6232 E. 60th Street, Tulsa, OK 74135. You can reach Tulsa Humane Society by contacting them at 918.495.3647.
StreetCats, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to shelter abandoned and lost cats in hopes of finding them a new home. They are currently seeking volunteers to help with the many tasks that help the organization operate on a day-to-day basis. Volunteer applications can be found at StreetCatsTulsa.org. Contact StreetCats at 918.298.0104 StreetCats is located at 6520 E. 60th Street in Tulsa.
Tulsa SPCA is a temporary home for thousands of animals. They provide nutritious food, a safe place to sleep, medical care, and gentle handling. They also support an ongoing animal cruelty investigation program. You can volunteer through their various programs. The auxiliary program helps to keep the organization strong through marketing and fundraising
Pets are love (PALS) consists of volunteers and dogs who visit nursing homes. K-9 Social Club are a group of volunteers that Animals are introduced to us at an incredibly young age. In the beginning of our existence, we are automatically informed that we share this world with more than ourselves.help the dogs get exercise by various activities such as running, and walking with them. For more information on how to help, contact Tulsa SPCA at 918.428.7722. Tulsa SPCA is located at 2910 Mohawk Blvd., Tulsa, OK 74110.