Applications to adopt the "fire dogs" rescued from an overpopulated trailer that burned in the Greenbrier area last month have slowed to a trickle, Humane Society of Faulkner County volunteers said.
Volunteers are working in shifts to care for the remaining 21 dogs, down from the original 41 the group took on after the fire. Thirteen dogs are housed in a temporary shelter, and the remaining animals are in area foster homes.
Adoption coordinator Judi Standridge said many dogs, mostly Chihuahuas, terrier and dachshund mixes, were adopted to good homes after the Oct. 26 fire that killed dozens of small dogs.
Animal rescue volunteers working closely with the animals’ previous owners said the elderly couple took in too many dogs, though the dogs appeared to be well-fed, and some were spayed or neutered.
The Humane Society has been working with local vets and the group’s Companions Spay and Neuter Clinic to spay and neuter the dogs, and to provide up to date vaccinations.
The animals were quarantined for a brief time until they were deemed adoptable.
Standridge said Thursday the remaining dogs are ready for homes, but application submissions have tapered off.
"The ones that are left aren’t very old. They’re about six years or younger," she said. "Adoptions are slowing down and I’m getting concerned."
The oldest of the dogs and those in poorer health have been taken care of, she said.
Standridge remembered one successful adoption in particular that occurred about two weeks after the fire.
"I met with a lady and asked her which dog she was interested in, and she told me she wanted the oldest and least adoptable one we had. I started walking to go get Yoda and I started crying," she said. "She is a white old lady, and she looked bad. She had age lumps all over her. She had no teeth. There’s no way to tell how much longer she might have."
Standridge said when she brought Yoda to the adopter, she also began to cry along with surrounding clinic staff members.
"It has been very emotional. Everyone was crying. That little dog…the lady sent me pictures and the dog looked so much better. She knew the dog didn’t have long to live," she said.
Some of the close to 100 dogs rescued from the fire were turned over the Arkansas Chihuahua Rescue, P.S. I Love You Animal Rescue, and Wishing Well for Paws in Greenbrier.
Visit www.fixingfaulknercounty.com and click on the ‘Adopt’ tab to fill out an online application to adopt one of the remaining dogs. A photo gallery of the dogs and corresponding identity tags can be found by clicking this link.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)