Kiki the funny-faced dog was recently found on a Limestone County roadside. She had suffered a broken back. A caring person brought her to the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter, where a doctor repaired her back.
She is one of many animals available for adoption at the nonprofit shelter off U.S. 72 East in Athens.
But, this message is really for animal lovers who cannot adopt an animal right now either because there is no room at the inn or because circumstances do not permit it at this time. The local shelter needs people to help sponsor existing pets that are either waiting for adoption or preparing to go to a rescue and need travel money.
Donations of any amount are very helpful.
"This is a great way to help for those who can't adopt a pet or who want to help but can't help any other way," said Priscilla Blenkinsopp, shelter director.
Anything from a one-time donation of $5 or more or a recurring gift will help the nonprofit shelter care for its animals. In some cases, your donation will help save the lives of those dogs that have been waiting a long time for adoption. Knowing a dog has sponsorship money can extend the time it has to be adopted.
You can use a credit card, PayPal or mail. Or, if you prefer, you can call the Athens shelter at 256-771-7889 for more information on sponsoring a pet.
If you want to see the faces of those you will help through sponsorship or if you want to consider adopting a pet, go online to petfinder, adopt-a-pet or the shelter's Facebook page. The links are listed below.
Two ways to sponsor
Your sponsorship can be used to help pay the costs of dogs (or cats) already at the shelter and waiting for adoption or those staying at foster homes while waiting for adoption. Your donation covers food, medical care and other needs.
Or, if you choose, your sponsorship can be used to help a dog ready to be transported to a rescue facility that believes it can find a home for the dog. Dogs heading to rescues require a full veterinary checkup and health certificate, micro-chipping, an adoption fee that covers immunizations and spaying or neutering, and the $150 transportation cost, Blenkinsopp said.
"Sometimes people give $5 or $50, or they sponsor the $110 adoption fee or the full amount," she said.
You can sponsor a specific dog that will be heading to a rescue or let the shelter decide which is most in need.
Other ways you can help
Like most shelters, the Athens Limestone Animal Shelter can always use supplies such as pet collars, beds, bowls, toys, blankets, towels, sheets and beds. If you’re a sewer or knitter, consider creating comforters especially for shelter pets. Dogs and cats make nests from blankets,which eases stress while in shelters.
If you don't have the resources right now to help, you can still help the shelter by sharing on Facebook or other social media to get others to consider sponsorship or to donate needed items.