Clayton County Humane Society shelter staff member Keith Hunt carries Bud, a 9-year-old dachshund back to his cage Wednesday. The animal adoption group needs residents to donate items for its upcoming yard sale so it can raise enough money to continue caring for animals such as Bud. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)
JONESBORO — Keith Hunt could hardly hold Bud back when he opened his cage Wednesday.
Bud, a short, chubby 9-year-old dachshund, is a new arrival at the “Chateau Humane Society” and he’s still getting used to his new environment.
“He’s an owner surrender,” said Hunt, a member of the Humane Society’s shelter staff.
A familiar environment for Bud is a home, not a shelter. He may not like being kept in a cage. Or maybe he’s just not used to it. The concept of being kept in a cage, and not having the run of the house, may be a little foreign to him.
Hunt walked past a row of large cages toward Bud’s cage. All of the other dogs knew if Hunt was in the yard, it meant one of them was going to be let out to play.
Or it could be to let them go the bathroom. It didn’t matter to them. Either scenario thrilled them and they jumped to attention when they saw him.
As Hunt walked past each cage, the dogs leaped up, pressed their front paws against the chain link wall of their homes and barked as loudly as they could.
It was as if they were trying to tell their caretaker, “Hey, look at me. Look at me. I want to come out.”
Finally, Hunt reached Bud’s cage — which is really more like two-room, indoor/outdoor hotel suite than a prison cell — and called to his new friend.
“Hey Bud, come on, buddy, I’m going to let you out,” said Hunt.
Bud may have been knew to the joint, but he was no fool. He knew if his name was being called, it could only be a good thing and this squatty little black and brown dog wasted no time making a beeline for the cage door as Hunt unlocked it.
As soon as the door was open, and Hunt lifted him over the doorstop, Bud took off. While Hunt was trying to keep a roommate of Bud’s in their cage, Bud was stretching his legs.
It only took Hunt a few seconds to get the cage closed up again, but by the time he got the door locked, Bud was already on the other side of the yard.
“He’s never been outside in our yard before since he’s only been with us a short time,” said Hunt as he let out a little exasperated chuckle.
Dogs and cats like Bud rely on the Humane Society’s staff and volunteers to take care of them after they’ve been surrendered by an owner who can no longer care for them, or after they’ve been abandoned on the shelter’s doorstep. Caring for these pets takes money, and that requires regular fund-raising by the animal adoption group.
Its no-kill shelter gets no government funding.
The time is fast approaching for another Humane Society fundraiser — it’s Oct. 5 Fall Treasures for Paws Yard Sale at Jonesboro High School — but the community’s help is needed to make it a success. Right now, that means items need to be donated so volunteers have something, anything (almost), to sell at the yard sale.
“We’re three weeks away from the yard sale,” said Gwen Lyle, the event’s organizer. “We’ve got a big, double storage unit and it’s only about one-quarter full, so we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there. We really hope a lot of people will have donations, especially of big items, for us to sell. At our last yard sale, we didn’t have many furniture pieces. I can sell 500 $1 items and make a lot of money, but I can sell two or three large items and make just as much money.”
The money raised from the yard sale will be used to pay for shelter operations, which includes buying pet food and supplies to keep the cages clean so the animals can be comfortable during their stay.
One of those animals is Shadow, a brown 11-and-a-half-year-old lab mix who lives in the cage next to Bud. She’s been a resident of the shelter for 10 years and seven months.
Although she leaped higher and barked louder than most of the other dogs when Hunt came into the yard, she lacks her neighbor’s playful demeanor. When Hunt opened the door to her cage, she trotted out and moved to a shaded spot in the center of the yard, where she walked around in a circle and kept her head down.
She acted as if there were no humans around to engage her. It wasn’t until Hunt came over to her, knelt beside her and started to stroke the back of her chocolate brown fur coat that she began to acknowledge his presence.
Sometimes, she’ll come up to shelter staff and volunteers and climb into their laps to lay down, but this wasn’t one of those times.
“She’s a loner,” said Hunt. “She won’t just come over to you a lot of the time. You have to go to her.”
That isn’t the case with another lab mix who lives at the shelter. Spivey is a black and white 3-and-a-half-year-old lab who came to the shelter when she was a little over a year old.
If Bud wants to roam free and Shadow wants to be unassuming, then its Spivey who can’t stop showering you with love.
When Hunt let her out of her cage, she did the tour of the yard, just like everyone else, but then she came to Hunt as he knelt down to greet her. And the girl had no problem showing public displays of affection.
She leaped into his arms as if she wanted to hug him with her front legs and paws. Then she went in for the kiss.
And the lick.
And another kiss as she moved up his neck.
And then came another lick.
“She’s very loving and loves to be loved,” said Hunt as she continued to lick his neck and face. “She’s just very outgoing.”
Bud, Shadow and Spivey are just some of the animals the shelter cares for and tries to get adopted. They are also three of the many four-legged reasons why the Humane Society needs a lot of donations to have a successful yard sale.
Lyle said the Humane Society can only take gently used items for the sale. Examples of items they can’t accept include clothing, shoes, mattresses, box springs, water beds, sleeper sofas, infant cribs, car seats, tires, metal file cabinets, large appliances, older computer monitor and television models and metal desks.
Tax receipts will be given to people who make donations, and appointments must be made to drop items off at the SecureCare storage facility, 1515 Mt. Zion Road in Morrow.
People interested in making a donation should call 770-363-4132 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.