SUBMITTED BY CHERYL MURPHY AND TINA BALL –
Humane Society of the Ouachitas is excited to announce the public is invited to share in an Open House in honor of its new Cat Habitat. The event is scheduled for Saturday, January 20th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., located at the shelter property at 368 Polk Road 50, south of Mena.
The celebration will include a Ribbon Cutting/Business-after-Hours event sponsored by the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce. The new 448 sq. ft. building is adjacent to the existing shelter where the dogs are housed. The Cat Habitat is bright, airy and has lots more room for rescued cats and kittens while they await adoption.
HSO credits volunteer Board Member Neal Fosdick for taking the lead in researching and selecting the pre-built structure to meet the need, as well as finishing the interior with the help of several volunteers. “The previous cat room has been remodeled into a much needed Animal Treatment Room,” stated volunteer Shelter Manager Tina Ball. “We have PetSmart Charities to thank for this tremendous asset for HSO.”
Volunteer secretary Cheryl Murphy said, “I want to recognize Tina Ball for applying for the PetSmart Charities grant, which has made this a reality. Tina originally established a positive working relationship with PetSmart stores by holding adoption events on location. This relationship led the way for grant opportunities. In fact, in the last 10 years, PetSmart Charities has invested nearly $200,000 in our community through HSO. The benefits were shelter improvements, spay-neuter funding to help low-income pet owners spay/neuter their pets, and HSO’s ability to develop its canine transport program. Our community can truly thank PetSmart Charities for its benevolent financial assistance making it possible for HSO to increase services and outreach to help more pets and the people who love them. The whole community benefits when more pets are spayed and neutered, reducing the number of stray and uncared-for animals.” Murphy added, “Last but not least, HSO has four dedicated staff members who deserve credit for the fine condition of the shelter and animals. They work hard seven days a week to provide quality care and cleanliness which makes our shelter shine.”
The Open House will include refreshments, door prizes, and gifts. Adoptable pets are always present to welcome visitors. HSO’s staff looks forward to meeting guests and answering questions. HSO is approaching its 40th anniversary, making it a vital and longstanding member of the community. Though policies and procedures have evolved over time, the mission is the same: to care for pets in need. The Open House is a true celebration of not only HSO’s recent accomplishments, but a wonderful tribute to its past.