CONNELL -- Dogs on the lam in Connell have better digs, thanks to Carrie Adams' efforts to fix up the city's pound.
Most of the upgrades to the makeshift 10-by-20-foot shelter near the city's maintenance shop are finished.
And as the shelter project nears completion, the Connell woman said she is looking for foster families to provide homes for stray dogs.
At the shelter, the insulation and heater already have been installed, Adams said. All that remains is to put in the water system to make it easier to clean the kennels, and to install the air conditioning wall unit.
Warmer weather is needed to pour the concrete for the outdoor dog runs, and then the chain-link fence can be installed, she said. That will give six indoor dog kennels their own outdoor dog runs.
"It's a work in progress," she said.
But already, the shelter is a lot warmer, Adams said. It went from being a tin hut to as nice as a pound can be expected to be, she said.
Adams said she appreciates the support from the community. About $3,000 was donated to help with the shelter repairs, and supplies such as the insulation and concrete also were donated.
The city has let Adams go forward with improvements, taking a hands-off approach.
"Her efforts have been a real success," said Steve Taylor, Connell city administrator. He pointed to how Adams was able to get donated supplies and labor for the project.
Having citizen involvement is a core city value, Taylor said. The city wants to have citizens who see a problem to get involved directly.
"She's a shining example of that," he said.
Adams' quest for a better shelter started when she offered to help the city find homes for stray dogs picked up by the city.
Dogs were held seven days in the shelter and then, if not claimed, were taken to a veterinarian to be adopted or euthanized. Now, Adams finds them homes.
Since the end of December, Adams has helped find homes for about 30 dogs from Connell that were brought into the pound or given up by their owners.
There are weeks when five dogs may be in the pound, and then other times when there is none for two months, Adams said.
Now, Adams said she is looking for a handful of foster families willing to take in dogs from two days to three weeks. Adams County Pet Rescue has been helping, but she said their foster families are tapped out.
Having foster families will help Adams as she tries to find homes for the dogs locally, she said.
Adams said she has been using Petfinder, an online pet adoptions site. The Connell dogs have been posted under Ferry Dog Mothers, a pet rescue run by a friend on Bainbridge Island, or by Adams County Pet Rescue.
Those interested in providing foster care for the dogs can contact Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include contact information.