Like many animal shelters, the Oakdale animal shelter has been hit hard by the pandemic. The annual fundraiser events were shuttered due to the pandemic but the needs remain for the hundreds of cats and dogs that find their way into Oakdale’s care until they find their forever homes. The shelter, on Liberini Avenue, is used by both Oakdale and Riverbank.
Currently, the biggest needs are towels and blankets, which are used daily to clean the kennels and the dishes. Also, the shelter relies upon donations of cat and dog food for 100 percent of its supply.
If anyone is cleaning out their closets for end-of-the-year de-cluttering, consider donating to the Oakdale Animal Shelter. The following is a list of much-needed items:
Dog harnesses (various sizes)
Dog and cat collars
Dog food/puppy food
Cat food/kitten food
Dog houses (various sizes)
Stainless steel bowls for cats and dogs
Sponges for dishes
Kong (dog toys)
According to non-profit group, Oakdale Shelter Pet Alliance, OSPA, they typically hold an annual “garden party” style fundraiser to raise the needed funds to continue the ongoing programs that save and improve the lives of the homeless pets in the community.
Like most other non-profits, OSPA was unable to host its fundraiser because of the pandemic threat and while they’ve had enough funds to continue helping the shelter pets, they’ve had to dial down their efforts in order to stretch resources.
“We’re looking forward to holding a fundraiser in 2021,” said OSPA public relations officer Debi Scoles. “Our biggest program is our low cost spay/neuter voucher program. Because of COVID, we have not been able to offer our monthly voucher distributions at the Oakdale Animal Shelter and at Riverbank Petco.”
According to Scoles, these monthly events usually draw 20 to 40 voucher customers and for the health and safety of customers and volunteers, OSPA decided to suspend distribution days until it becomes safe to work with large numbers of people.
However, Scoles added, “We have continued to meet with customers one-on-one to help those who have an urgent situation to spay or neuter a pet.”
To encourage pet adoptions, OSPA also sponsors reduced shelter adoption fees. Fees for dogs are reduced to $50 and for cats/kittens to $25, with OSPA paying the difference. The regular price to adopt a female dog is $125 and males $95; for female cats $65 and males $55. Fees include the spay/neuter, vaccinations and microchip. During this pandemic time, OSPA has continued to offer reduced fees, which has led to several pets finding new homes.
OSPA also assists with veterinary costs and is continuing to do so during the pandemic. For example, a 5-month-old Lab/Shepherd mix had been hit by a car and was left on his own for a couple of cold nights. Construction workers found him and called animal control who picked him up and took him to the vet. He had a fractured pelvis and a broken hind leg. OSPA was ready to help with his medical costs if necessary. In the past few months, OSPA has paid for two dental treatments and the removal of a mammary growth.
So, while life has certainly changed for many people as they adjust to life within the restrictions of a pandemic, some things have not changed and that includes the needs of the animals relying upon human kindness for a leg up in life.
For those shopping online, the non-profit group, OSPA, has made it easy to help the local shelter by generating donations through a special link, smile.amazon.com/ch/45-4829533
People can also check out their AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate items they need most.
While the shelter was closed for a short while, they are back up and running and there are plenty of animals still waiting for their forever home.
People can call the Oakdale Animal Shelter directly at 209-847-5625 to inquire about adoptions or donations.