Connell women trying to raise money for animal shelter

CONNELL -- Carrie Adams is on the hunt for a way to get a better dog pound for strays.

The Connell woman has been searching for homes for dogs and cats found in Connell while trying to raise money to fix the city's animal shelter.

Connell police often are called about wandering dogs, said Police Chief Mike Kessler. The town has an issue with strays, but they are hard to catch.

But when they are cornered, they are kept in a makeshift 10-by-20-foot shelter with chain link kennels in the same area as the city's maintenance shop.

"It's not ideal, and we do have dogs that get out," Kessler said.

Some dogs have even chewed through the door to escape.

Dogs are held seven days in the shelter and then, if not claimed, are taken to a veterinarian to be adopted or euthanized.

About a year ago, Adams heard about a pitbull that the city was about to have killed.

She called and was able to get the dog adopted instead.

Now, she asks police to call her whenever they catch a stray that appears adoptable.

"I don't want them to die," said Adams, a receptionist for Syngenta.

That's also about the time she discovered that Connell's dog pound is basically a shed, with six spaces to hold dogs and no real space for small dogs.

By talking with Officer Rich Kepple, Adams said they came up with the idea of fixing up the pound in the short term at cost of about $3,000.

Their proposal would mean insulating the shed, adding a window, installing heating and fixing the drainage system. There would also be porches built in the runs so that dogs have a dry place to stay, Adams said.

Adams volunteers with Adams County Pet Rescue, and the nonprofit is the one actually receiving the money for the shelter, which houses 10 to 15 dogs a year. That way, the donations are tax deductible.

The city is considering whether to put up a new building to store patrol cars and add some space for an animal shelter.

The city is waiting to see how many donations Adams can collect before moving forward, Kessler said.

She said the cost could range from $25,000 to $60,000, depending on whether she can get donations for labor and materials.

In the meantime, Adams has helped find home for 27 dogs and four cats found in the Connell area.

And she's collected their tales, from a starving dog hit by a car near Highway 260 to a puppy found in a puddle by some children at the city's mobile home park. Both have since been placed in new homes.

Adams said some of the dogs have been fostered by Adams County Pet Rescue volunteers and the nonprofit has helped her find homes.

Donations can be sent to Adams County Pet Rescue, P.O. Box 311, Ritzville, WA 99169, and should be marked for Connell.