The West Plains Regional Animal Shelter, 1486 BB Highway, secured homes for 209 of the 253 animals it sheltered in 2018, for a placement rate of about 83 percent.

Last year, the shelter and the Quill continued an effort begun in 2016 to bolster adoption rates by regularly running pictures of featured pets available for adoption and their stories. In addition to that “Pet of the Week” feature, the Quill also spotlighted available animals for National Dog Day in August and Adopt a Senior Pet Month in November.

According to shelter volunteer Trish Hammen, 94 percent of the pets published in the Quill during 2018 found permanent new homes. Of the 209 pets placed by the shelter, all but seven were adopted. The rest were claimed by their owners.

More than 40 animals were still waiting for new homes in the new year. The West Plains Regional Animal Shelter has a policy that any animal that has been sheltered for longer than a year may be adopted to a good home, free of charge.

The adoption fees for cats are $30 for a female and $25 for a male, and for dogs, $40 for a female and $35 for a male. The fees cover the cost of spaying or neutering, vaccinations and other procedures that may be performed, such as heartworm testing for dog or microchip identification implantation.

The West Plains Regional Animal Shelter is funded largely by its adjacent Out of Harm’s Way thrift store and an annual fundraiser dinner held each November. Community donations of cash, cat and dog food, cat litter, blankets and toys help sustain the shelter and its mission, along with volunteer help.

Both the animal shelter and the thrift store are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

To keep up with the latest in shelter needs and available animals, follow @Wpanimalshelter on Facebook. To learn more about volunteering for the shelter, making donations or adopting an animal, drop by the shelter during business hours or call 256-8438.

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