What’s in a name?
If it’s a sobriquet like "Arkanpaws", it conjures up thoughts of a group of Arkansas women who are passionate about helping homeless animals and finding loving "fur-ever" homes for them.
Behind this effort is Dani Maddox of Conway and a bevy of friends of like persuasion, volunteers committed to building a community of devoted pet families and educating citizens as to the reasons for the importance of spaying and neutering animals and helping to end the condition of pet overpopulation in Arkansas. And to end the problem of pets dying needlessly every day.
"We are continually developing a network of volunteers and foster families to spread the word about spaying/neutering programs for these creatures," Maddox says.
Arkanpaws is at the moment aligning itself with animal rescue organizations in New England and other points north where adoptions are easily performed in loving homes Maddox says. Pets in Arkansas find these homes available since shelters in the north don’t have a sufficient number of pets to meet the demand.
Maddox says Arkanpaws was created in 2012 and received its non-profit status the next year. The Arkansas group of volunteers has taken or shipped more than 2,000 dogs and cats to northern locations. "We know our contacts with northern shelters are good because we hear comments of praise from them, telling us that dogs which have been vetted, spayed and neutered arrive in good condition and are extremely social. Dogs are usually adopted after a few weeks.
Various modes of transportation are used to get these pets into the hands of northern neighbors. Maddox has made automobile excursions to Rhode Island and other locations. On occasion dogs and cats are sent north via commercial airlines, yet travel by air has its limitations since only a few animals can fly on a plane.
"Many adopters share their wonderful stories with us about their fuzzy adoptees on our Facebook page.
It’s a joy to see happiness spread simply by an act of kindness." Maddox says.
Funds received by Arkanpaws are used to provide special treatment for dogs and cats with serious health and behavior issues, Maddox reveals. Support for the work of these volunteers comes from local business organizations who are attuned to the idea of pet "renewal."
She indicated that the organization holds many adoption events and food drives throughout the year. Firms such as Tractor Supply Company, Subaru automobiles, Kroger food stores and other business houses that believe and accept the tenets of Arkanpaws without reservation are motivated simply by of the love of animals,
Maddox believes that Arkanpaws is unrivaled in the state.
For their volunteers, a universal love of animals is at the core of their activities.
They push hard for "Stuff a Truck for a Pup" promotion which aims for loads of food, filling trucks with dog and cat food until the trucks are brimming over.
Because of the current state of abandoned dogs is depressing, Maddox feels the efforts of Arkanpaws is critical. She is emboldened by the addition of more volunteers to its company, including its first male member.
Daniel Gladstone, a retired employee of Acxiom, comes on board bringing his computer and organizational skills with him. Maddox says that Gladstone has revamped the Arkanpaws on-line adoption program with a new software program — Petstablished.
Volunteers for the organization say it is their duty to be a voice for the voiceless and an advocate for pets assuring them ethical treatment always.