Local volunteers work to make a difference at McFarland Animal Shelter

Facebook has become their number one tool

McFarland, Calif. - The McFarland animal shelter sits at the end of a long, dirt road. It's locked to visitors, as it shares property with the city's water treatment facility. Because of that, the dozens of adoptable dogs that call it home, never have the opportunity to get adopted.

In 2008, 23ABC reported on the shelter after it was cited for numerous issues, including a nearly 100% euthanasia rate, a lack of adoption services, veterinary care and improper care of the shelter animals.

In the last six months, a new animal control officer and three volunteers have made it their mission to try and turn things around.

Eve Henderson, one of the volunteers, says lack of visibility is a huge hurdle.

"We have beautiful dogs. We have dogs that would be adopted the first day if people could see them."

To try and find these dogs homes, the volunteers have taken it upon themselves to build a McFarland Animal Shelter Facebook page. They spend hours every week taking photos and uploading them to the site. They then post and repost the available dogs to get them seen.

So far, many of their long time residents have found wonderful homes because of the volunteers hard work.

"We put a dog named Papi Chulo on one day, and within minutes we had hundreds of hits on this dog."

Papi Chulo's posting was seen by a rescue group who decided to save his life. Many other dogs at the shelter have had the same success. 

The work doesn't stop there though, Teresa Walker, who runs a rescue group called "No Paws Left Behind," says they also pressure wash the kennels with bleach, help vaccinate the animals, feed them and spray flea and tick preventatives to knock out the infestations. 

The new animal control officer, Robert Moita, says without this special group of women, he and the dogs would not be in the position they are.

"I would not be able to do all we're doing right now. My volunteers are golden."

Alvie Baker, another one of the volunteers, says even though some of the sights and situations are very difficult to deal with, she knows the dogs depend on her and It's what keeps her going each and every day.

"I think to myself, what if I quit? That dog doesn't stand a chance. I have to keep going for this dog."

In addition, Baker, Henderson, Walker and Moita recently held their first public adoption day.

If you'd like to find out more about their upcoming events, how to volunteer at the McFarland animal shelter, or make an appointment to see an adoptable animal,  you can call Officer Moita or Officer Alvarez at the McFarland Police Department. The number is 661-792-2121.

To join their Facebook page, copy and paste this link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/McFarland-Animal-Shelter/209972619070791


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