Animal Shelter of the Week: Episode 22 – Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter in Oklahoma

Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter (PAAS) in Oklahoma funds their programs and daily operations from private donations as well as grants from visionary philanthropic partners including the WaterShed Animal Fund, PetSmart Charities, ASPCA, The Flint Family Foundation, The Cresap Family Foundation, and others. PAAS occupies a key position in an effective network of regional animal welfare organizations.

You can find the links to the videos we talk about below – check them out today, you can also check out their website to learn more!

Sarge & Mr. Miller  & Dogs of Lexington

Pets for Life 

Transport to Colorado

Welcome to the ARPA Animal Shelter of the week podcast where we introduce you to incredible organizations around the country that are focused on helping animals.  We’re proud to be sponsored by Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport.  Let’s meet this week’s featured animal shelter. Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter, also known as PAAS opened their facility on the historic Route 66 in Veneto, Oklahoma, in 2015. They thought a traditional shelter was what the community needed. But shortly after opening their doors, they realized they had a much bigger problem changing the direction of their organization there, now focused on low cost spay and neuter service is out of state transports, and they even manage a teen our program to help control of feral cat population. The team at paws goes the extra mile to help their furry friends have the best life possible. Hey, Kay, welcome to the show. Thank you for asking me. Yeah, of course. I’m really, really excited to kind of learn a little bit more about you guys. Um and you are peaceful animal adoption shelter located in Oklahoma. And I’m curious about the organization. So why don’t you tell us where exactly you’re located and maybe what your your mission is. We’re located in Northeast Oklahoma, and our mission is to now is different than when we first opened. When we first opened in 2015. It was a traditional shelter like you see in many towns didn’t work. So we transition slowly, somewhat painfully, to become a transfer hub and a spay neuter clinic. And, uh, today I can tell you that we’re making a significant difference for all of the pet owners in northeast Oklahoma, as well as 15 municipal and rural shelters throughout Oklahoma. So it’s very rewarding. Yeah, it’s always nice to have to have that feel good feeling. If you will write to know that you’re making an impact and it sounds like not t not only the animals, but to the community, the larger community right as well. So why don’t you tell me a little bit about what the vision was when you guys first opened as a traditional shelter and and maybe that transition and where you guys are now, we’d love to we were envisioned to be the traditional shelter. We had a marvelous grand opening ceremony. The building’s beautiful. Everybody walks through it, and there were some people that walked in the door to look a tte dogs. But we had an 80 pit 80% return, right for those who did, which was kind of just a parting. But the bigger issue was we were suddenly swamped with people wanting to owner surrender their dogs and cats. We had 50 dogs in the shelter, and we had 75 cats. I had more than 100 dogs waiting to come in that were owner surrendered and I had more than 150 cats and nobody’s really adopting. So I had to go to a different format, and it took us a few months to figure that out. Ah, once we got it figured out, the really hard sell for us was to change the mind of the founders and the board in the area people, because they’ve been so expecting a traditional shelter, and we could not make that work. The question I have is why were so many waiting for owner surrenders? Northeast Oklahoma has a lot of commercial breeders, okay, have a lot of backyard breeders. And when they have a lot of people who simply don’t have the money to spare noted their pets on. When they have unwanted litters, they drive out predominantly. They drive out into the country, and the farmers and ranchers wake up in the morning, two puppies on their front doorstep, puppies in the barrel pit leading up to their house, and they they’ll keep them if they can. And so when we were a resource for them, it just was like opening Pandora’s box. Sure, they all knew they had some place to bring them, and they certainly brought them. Oh, yeah, it’s definitely And I mean, I’ve talked to, you know, quite a few different rescues and shelters, and I’ve never heard this before. So when you originally said Owner Surrender, I was thinking like personal Pat’s right, bringing them in because they can no longer care for them. But it’s a spay and neuter problem, and it’s a financial issue within the community. Now. You guys have made that switch, um, and your ah hub. So talk to me a little bit about I guess, what does that mean, how does how does your tell me about the day to day operations? Um, and what you’re doing with the animals that you guys continue to receive It’s turned out to be probably the most one of the two most rewarding aspects or programs that we have here every Monday in Tuesday, all of our partners, Oklahoma Rescue Partners, are scheduled to come in on rotating basis with their dogs. And we can send up to 40 depending on how big the dogs are. 40 35 to 40 dogs, too Dumb Friends League every Tuesday, nine on our van. We have it down to such a science that between the drivers and two of our employees, they couldn’t load. They can load 35 dogs in about 30 minutes. It’s just it’s magic to watch on Tuesday night. They leave out on Tuesday night. Wednesday they disinfect everything, get everything ready. And now, fortunately, thanks to a grant of watershed through Oklahoma Humane Society, we’re doing spay neuter clinics, and that literally is going to change our world in a really wonderful way. In such a short amount of time, you guys have really been able to hone in on the problem. The community needs and work with organizations not just within your community, but across state lines. Absolutely. And I came from the corporate world, So I came from a world that looked at things from the market driven. There is no market here. Foran option. You said there isn’t but there is a market for adoptable dogs in Colorado and we were willing to do anything. I mean, I think it sort of jumping over a jump rope. Whatever dumb friends they would have told us to do, we were going to do and packed for a CZ. Well, yeah, and and so consequently, we play by the rules, and that’s kind of hard for some shelters and rescues to do because they like to write their own rules. Yeah, everybody, we have a waiting list now of rescues and shelters who want to join us because, you know, thanks to Facebook, everybody knows we’re successful and we’re saving lives. I just did a spreadsheet for Watershed are our one of our major funders and all of the shelters who are regular clients of ours who come in on a rotating basis until the flood could say they had a 90% life release rate, which is unheard of. Yeah, very, very interesting. So I like that you’ve made a name for yourself in such a short amount of time. I do want to dive in a little bit more to this transport. Ha. Been packed. Fun. Colorado because I know that Colorado doesn’t really work with They should say, Doesn’t really work with right. They do. But they’re their rules and regulations because of pappa is a lot more strict. And so how are you able to build that relationship with dumb Friends League and other organizations to make that successful dumb friends? D is our only Colorado partner for that reason, because we we understood that it was built on trust and that trust. You have to earn it, Uh, and you have to be willing to follow the rules. And I jokingly say Mark Zuckerberg had no idea when he started Facebook how much we would use it. Right but way have a closed group that’s called Pause right to Rescue and DFL. All of our partners and us are all on that closed group, so everybody knows what everybody else is doing. Everybody knows whose dogs are being submitted, what they look like, what their credentials are. Every dog that comes to us from a participating shelter in Oklahoma has a certificate of health signed by the veterinarian in their area. They’ve all up to date on their shots. DFL has approved all of those dogs. They have a picture of him. I mean everything. So everybody’s preapproved when they come through our door on Monday, Tuesday and Tuesday nights when the magic happens because we then take them to Colorado and we have drivers and we pay our drivers. Because if you have volunteer drivers, if the weather’s band you have to move it around or they have something come up socially, then you don’t have anybody to take your animals. And if we once stop this train that all of our partners downstream are going to suffer, and for us here it’s like what we’re facing right now is the flooding. I’ve had people look at me with a questioning look because of what we do. If you have a man made Lee, you opened the floodgates when the water gets too high and which to me is transport out of state. Then you try to control the inlet flow, which for us is spay neuter. And when you could do those two things, then you don’t have to use the NYSE as many healthy, wonderful dogs. And so for us, it is just absolutely been there, most rewarding thing we could have ever imagined doing. You’re you’re almost writing your own rules and regulations, but you’re doing it following the rules and regulations of other organizations. Right and pack fa. I really think that transparency is key. I love that. What you’re doing with the Facebook group is just that right there getting pre approved, they’re putting all the information out there for everybody to see. I feel like when you’re that transparent, things runs so much smoother. But in the animal welfare industry, people feel very protective right of their organization and the people that volunteer and work for them, and sometimes that hurts you. So I love that you guys air super transparent with what you’re doing and the relationships that you have and starting to transport program is is not easy. But the fact that you were willing to do anything necessary to make that happen and to build that relationship with dumb Friends League, I think, is really just incredible. Here’s how I look at it, Rachel. I always never forget that. That we are the voice of the dogs. They have no voice and where their voice and so dumb Friends League is a very successful organization in Colorado. And so we knew that everything they did was obviously of a high standard. Did we kind of gripe ingrown? Sure, we did an early I mean, that’s just human nature. When I have people say, How could you get everybody to join in? I said, Look at yourself as a family, You may not like everybody in your family, Sure, but you all get along at Christmas and Thanksgiving and, you know, holidays and weddings and so on. So that’s it. You look a rescue as that family and you agree that you’re going to get along to do one thing. Transport. Not gonna talk with you about lots of other things in the shelter or municipal shelter for rescue me do. But let’s just work for you on Trans. That’s made the difference. But the game changer for us here locally, we were transporting but we were still struggling, trying to get enough grants for pet overpopulation and spay neuter. And I got a call from HSUS Pits for life program and they wanted to know if I would like to have pets for life and Benita and I’m not usually speechless, but I waas Yeah, I said yes. And so pets for life came in. And once pets for life came in, there was a cut cultural shift in our community because those people who had opposed spay neuter clinics helping low cost income, qualified people with that secret, they suddenly realized this was a kid new population that they had been ignoring. And my veterinarians are so on board now that they couldn’t wait for us to open a clinic they had told me when we first opened, they met with me down at a community room in a bank here that if I ever brought in a clinic or get low cost a neuter, they’d run me out of town. And they’re now my biggest cheerleaders. Yeah, that’s always a really hard thing. To do right is to convince people why they need to take that leap of faith to try something different, so I don’t know, Not sure how many people actually know what pets for life is. So why don’t you give us? Why don’t you tell us what that is? That’s her life is a comprehensive probe that you bring into a community and you literally go door to door and help people with their animals. Uh, I have a marvelous video that’s on our YouTube pause. We need a page that explains our pits for life program. And what we were able to do is we have Lacey works, does that program for us here in Benita. And now Rhonda doesn’t force them. Tell Akula and Vagal door to door. They visit with the people. They’re non judgmental. They helped them get their animals spayed or neutered. They’ll help him with food and leashes and basic things like that. And suddenly everybody began to realize they could keep their beloved pets, especially the elderly, because they could keep that beloved pit. It wouldn’t have litters because for some of them, that’s the only comfort they have. So it was a cultural shift and a life changing experience because we used the local veterinarians to spay neuter our pets for life clients, pets. And that just opened the door because something they were so swamped, you know, there was four weeks out. Okay, we’ve got And I said, Well, I’ve got 60 waiting to come in right away. See what? You can do something. And I look at him and finally, they said, obviously, you could bring in a clinic. I said, thank you. And they aren’t right. Oklahoma Humane. Said we’d like to put do a clinic once a month. Sit. Sure. Okay, then they didn’t prices. And now they told us we could do four months. Yeah, so we’ve done 178 surgeries are I think we’ve had six clinics we’ve done honored 78 surgeries. Yeah, it’s really amazing that it only takes a couple success stories, right? Or a couple of success clinics And people really gravitate to it because it it does work. So you guys actually have a clinic than on site at your shelter, then? Is that right? What used to be my cat place? My cat condo home is now my surgical suite. Okay. Okay. So you guys can That’s part of that transition, right? You’re You’re learning what is needed. And you’re kind of adapting Thio this ever changing world that you’re living in. So I know when you guys first open and you were down the traditional shelter path Yeah, he’s actually had quite a bit of space for cats and dogs Tau house them because that was the original intent. So as of today, now that you guys have shifted a little bit, how many animals do you keep in your shelter and tell me a little bit about primarily? You’re moving dogs to Colorado for adoption, But do you still adopt two people in and around your community? No, we don’t. We don’t really. But here’s what I did because people would go really so identified myself that I called all of the rule towns around Benita and the one foster based shelter a rescue. And I asked them at any at this time, how many dogs do you have available to it for the population around here? 300 Wow. And so how? Yeah, And so when someone says that to me, I hand them this piece of paper and it lists all of the rescues in this area, and it stands There are 300 dogs. Cats are a whole other issue. I can’t get through yet. Okay, I just can’t discriminate. But there are 300 dogs waiting for a home. Please go find one of them. At one of these shelters are rescues because we have a huge pet overpopulation in this area and that proved it to me. We take everything from the Veneto shelter they have not used in iced for space since we opened it. So every adoptable dog comes to us and they all come in on Mondays and Tuesdays and we send them out and then we get ready for the spade order Plenty for the end of the week. Okay, so the spay neuter clinic happens every week, right? Or will be happening every week. Okay. And when is that going to start? The next one is July 12th and it’s a full. And then were we also have July 26 Will. And so now we’re working on the one in the middle of July 19th because we just got approval to do up to four months, okay? And so how do people in the community or surrounding community is getting contact? with you Or is there Is there a an appointment site, or do they call you? How? How can people take advantage of this? The word has spread quickly. Tried that about? We’ve had people from this far ways in Missouri and Kansas call us. We go. Um, we’re not quite ready to go that far. We don’t have to, uh, in any way advertise. We keep everyone of them full, assumes it’s open with pets for life or because somebody has been using our pet overpopulation and they’ve not been able to get into one of the veterinarian’s. They could come here and pay us the $10 CO pay. And then Oklahoma Humane Society lets us put those dogs or cats into the queue to get spayed or neutered. Huh? Our phone rings off the wall. Were now a resource center recognized in this area. Words bread. Quickly. Facebook helped. Everybody’s on Facebook. Everybody shares. Yeah, we don’t do any. I wouldn’t do any advertising right now because I wouldn’t know how to handle any more than currently handling. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It’s fascinating to me. Um, you know all of it. The spay and neuter in the out of state transport and the relationships that you’ve built in really such a short amount of time. You guys said that you opened up the doors early. 2015 The transition and the programs and the stability that you guys have been able to provide, you know, your community and other organizations is it’s it’s truly fascinating to me, and I really commend you on on all the steps and you’re making it sound so easy. And I know within that process it wasn’t easy at all. So I’m curious as to what you would say to somebody who maybe finds themselves in a similar situation, right? They want to open up a traditional shelter. They think they’re gonna you know, how’s animals and and have a clinic in all of these things. Maybe that’s not the right approach for them, but that’s what they’re thinking. How did you make that transition? And in what would you share with someone who might find themselves in a similar situation? I’ve had three different organizations come have their board of directors come and then they come back from multiple visits, first of all, to see what we have and then to get both Aren’t my input our facilities manager input and then our wretched veterinarian technicians input. Here is my formula for it if I were to do it again now that I’ve learned what I’ve learned, sir, if you if every month 50% of the dogs that come into your shelter are not going out to local adoptions, you should rethink what you’re going to build and focus on finding a partner that you can do a transport, maybe once a month. You don’t have to do it like we do, but you do a transport one thumb once a month X number of animals so that the animals that are in your shelter don’t stay there longer than 30 days or 45 at the most. The tragedy is when you keep a dog in your shelter, let’s say for two or three months you may eventually get that dog adopted, but for every week you keep that dog in there. You weren’t able to save another one, and that is the hard part for people to understand, cause they’ll focus on the dog in front of them and don’t realize that by keeping that dog for six months finished in a kennel. They’ve also not been able to save a dog every two weeks minimum. So if you just look at it differently, you begin to understand. So build a smaller shelter and I look at it. The first thing I would look at and I tell everybody is to look and I’m under familiar with world, not the big right. Opal City told I’m not gonna go there. Yeah, if your school is not maintaining their enrollment and your town is not increasing its tax base, you shouldn’t build a state of the art adoption shelter because you have no young families coming in that are having children better adding to the school, which then adds to the tax base. And everything revolves around that. You need to look at your town and in rule Oklahoma, the town’s air getting smaller, and so you need to rethink who you are and what you do to me. Success would be maybe 10 years from now they could do adoptions here because we have got a good handle on pen over population. But for the next five years, I want to send him to call around Oh, and spay neuter them here. That’s two things. That’s it. Yeah, and I definitely think your background in the corporate world helps you step back and and see things a little differently, Right? Because the animal welfare industry rescues and shelters is so emotional, sometimes it is really hard to take a step back because the goal is to save lives. It’s it’s you just have to find a different way. Like you said, you have to find a different way to get that done. And a lot of times, you know, the the rescues and shelters that I talked to in in rural locations. It is all about the overpopulation and the Spain and neutering. But I think what’s really unique about you guys is you actually recognize that, and we’re able to do something about it relatively quickly where I think a lot of organizations really struggle with that transition, right? They recognize there’s a problem, but because it’s so overwhelming, I really don’t know where to start this to question. There’s two answers that the 1st 1 is, you have to have funding okay, so that you could offer almost unlimited spay neuter because you can’t spay, neuter your way out of pet overpopulation simply because they produce quicker than you can get him fixed. It helps if you could do transfer out. As I said, Damn you get the overflow with the flooding out of your community so that you can come prostrate on what’s left. But you have to make spay neuter affordable, and I’ve discovered that for grand purposes, $10 is the tipping point. Most people confined $10 to get an animal fixed because they make $10 an hour. If economically, that’s the max that can afford. People can come in and get one dog at a time or one account of the time fixed a $10 But you have to have funders behind you who will pick up the slack of the reduced fee that the veterinarian’s air charging. That’s first. If you don’t start by keeping your veterinarian’s happy, you’ll never get to having a clinic because they’ll push back on you and they’ll cause you problems. I can’t think of any small rural town that has a veterinarian that if you offered $10 co pay and you had funding behind it to pay the veterinarian, you wouldn’t have the same success that we have here because what we’ve learned is these people love their pets, and these pet truly enrich their lives. And the two veterinarians that air on the pets for life video on are you to page sight? Both say that the biggest game changer was a neuter because now they can afford it. But you’ve got to start first of all, with transport somewhere else. You can’t just say no, You’re way out of it. In rural Oklahoma, there’s Germany. Yeah, so hi s O. I’m curious what you would say to somebody because I think everybody would agree with that, right? You have to have the funding. You have to have the grants. Thio make up the difference. So how were you guys able to do that? Who did you reach out to and and what would you say to someone who said Okay? Yep, I agree with that. But how do I go about it? Because the grant process is It’s a lot, right? There are a lot of steps to it. There’s a lot of research involved. You have to write and follow up, like, what would you say to somebody Who says Okay. Yep. Kay, I’m on board for this, but how do I start? You know, it’s interesting you say that I’ve been spending time unlinked in and reading all about Reed Hoffman and how Lincoln got started as well as Silicon Valley. And when you look at it, they just They’ve coined a new word called Blitz Scaling, which means that people gather together and they have enough sustainable income to put together a program that will work in Silicon Valley. Of course, it deals with the Internet, but I was allowed because of major funders, and it was the Crescent Family Foundation and Watershed Foundation Animal Fund. I was allowed the luxury of blitz scaling. In other words, I could focus on solving the problem because I didn’t have to stop and say, We run out of money. I can’t pay you. We’ve run out of money. We have to stop Spain, neuter clinics. We’ve run out of money we can’t transport anymore, and that luxury gave me the opportunity to get this done granted. Had I not been able to do this, I wouldn’t be able to talk to you today because they would have told me to go find someplace else, right? But But they gave me that that support both emotional and financial to let me show them. I did go to the main funders when we first opened and said, I don’t know how I’m gonna solve this, But if you’ll trust me and give me a year, I think I can. And it was about six months before we got the solution to begin to appear. And then the game changer was the meeting in Oklahoma City when Bob Brody and April Smith with April Steel were there and they said, Bob said, I’ll take 60 and I said, We consent to 30. I came back and I had the support not only of the major funder that had been helping me all along, but then Watershed joined with them, and once I had that support, I knew I could do it. I didn’t mean it. There were times that we’re trying. It just means, think about this. More than 4700 dogs have made that trip, and they’re in homes in Colorado. More than 1500 have been spayed and neutered in this community, and we’re beginning to really make a difference, but it takes blood scaling. It takes this support financial support from people who believe in you and give you the chance to get it done, and you can do it. I mean, we’re proof you can do it in economically depressed areas, and it’s exciting. But it’s also extremely rewarding. Yeah, it’s definitely It definitely has its challenges, right? For sure there’s, there’s no doubt, but the success of it and the support that you have, it’s just amazing to me, Um, kind of it just speaks to no matter your location, right? Whether you’re in an urban location and you have a lot of, you know, sponsorship opportunities and funding ability is you know, the organizations and the small rural towns can do just as much right or even have a bigger impact on the community and the animals. And so I’m always amazed to kind of see the difference between rural and urban locations and organizations on how they do things right, because it really is based on on the community needs. How big is your team? I have six employees, including myself here in the shelter. Okay, so six people, and so that’s A. That’s a lot of work for six people. How many? How many organizations are you guys working with to pull animals from to send to Colorado 15. 6 15 15 to 18. It’ll vary, but you need to understand. They bring them to us. So a zit example. Pauls Valley comes every other week, 500 miles round trip. OK, Every other week they come with 500 10 to 15 dogs that I’ve been approved by Dumb Friends League To make the journey, Washington County S P C A brings 10 to form or every other week on the opposite. Weeks that falls, rally does. And then we feel in with the smaller rescues and shelters throughout Oklahoma that our partners and they just all have to agree to follow the rules. And at first, it wasn’t easy, Rachel. They tried a step onion. Sure, no. And we send them home and, you know, and then we were posted on her Facebook page. You know, we’re sorry we sent home Joe, but he he wasn’t. He didn’t pass the test. Yeah, and so you only get embarrassed a couple of times by your colleagues. Did you go? I guess I’d better play by the rules. Yeah, and so they do. Now we have some people who chose not to play by the rules, and we put them on suspension. And then once a year representative from Dumb Friends League comes down and we ask every partner to send someone to a meeting where we talk about what we’re doing, what’s coming up next? What’s good? What’s bad? We fix at once a year. You have to have some representative from your organization, come to our meeting, and dumb Friends League sends a representative as well. So everybody’s on the same page and everybody knows anyone interesting. You said that because it’s the last meeting we had. The executive director of a very large municipal shelter spends their whole time trying to argue with us about what we were doing. We realized they couldn’t be our partner, you know? I mean, you don’t have to do it our way, but your dog’s really hope you will because yeah, they get a new loan. Yeah, and I just think for me, you know, out of all of this and how you guys are operating the transport piece of it is just the transparency, right? Like you said, I really like what you said in that you don’t have to work with us, right? That’s your choice. These are our rules, and we’re working with, you know, one organization in Colorado and the’s Are there not even guidelines? Are there rules, Right? And if you really want to save lives and be part of our team, these are the guidelines and the rules you have to follow. And if you don’t like it right that the animals suffer, it’s unfortunate, but that’s your choice. That’s exactly right. And that is that’s hard for some P s. It’s very hard. I mean, whenever I see someone who’s kept an animal in a shelter for a year, and then they have to make you know the decision because if suddenly loses its mind. And I think he not only did that dog not find a home, but neither did at least 26 other dogs because you couldn’t rescue them. Yeah, that’s heartbreaking to me. Yeah, definitely is heartbreaking. I hope it would be heartbreaking. Toe everybody who’s listening. Um, So my question for you is then, are you guys constantly like if somebody comes to you from another organization within a fair amount of driving distance. You know, I mean, I’m not gonna say 10 states away, but from the surrounding states, if somebody came to you and said, Kay, we’re really interested in this. We have so many animals. Do you open that up to have other people join? Or is this like an invite? Only for now, it’s going to be only Oklahoma shelters. Some of the leading people in animal welfare has that They want this to be a humane state for dogs and cats by 2025. Okay, so but I will go. I will visit with anybody that wants to come and see our facility and ask questions from anywhere I’m more than happy to come to. They’re meeting, you know, with whose they were interested in, show them what we’re doing and then how they might be able to do it in their community. I wouldn’t go outside Oklahoma at the moment, but I would help anybody who lives outside Oklahoma replicate what we do, and you can replicate it to fit your community. Doesn’t have to look exactly like ours, but yeah, yeah, I think it’s it’s fascinating and again. One of the one of the challenges that that I often hear is that everybody that I it seems like everybody that I talked to is so willing toe work together. And yet I still see so much friction, you know, amongst organizations and rescues and shelters. And it’s I I hope that we’re getting closer to understanding and working together in trying to understand the problems in each community. But we have a long ways to go. And so I like that you, you know, again, I like the transparency, right that it’s Oklahoma organizations only at this point, but that you are willing to kind of talk to anybody and share your knowledge and and what you’ve learned so that other people can replicate this, you know, within their state or their community. So I just I commend you on on how you’ve been able to transition this well, thank you. I have to tell you, I have a great deal of pride and knowing what we’ve accomplished here in this area and how many animals we’ve helped and also how many people who work at the shelters because for them to realize that they don’t have to use a nice ah, large number of healthy dogs because for space is just the most rewarding thing for them. Yeah, I would help anybody replicate this to fit their standards and show them how to do it and help them in any way so that they could do it. I would never want us to be the only one who did it at all. I would love to have 10. 15 of these across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, whatever and all being tremendously successful hubs. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that is the one coming goal that we all hoped to get to write. So I I love the openness on that. I want to know. So we’ve kind of talked about your past in the transition and the programs that you have. Is there anything coming up in the future for you guys that you want a share talk about, you know, honestly, not at the moment, because we just recently started the spay neuter and we we’re not sure what’s going to come next. It’ll happen, and when it comes to us, we’ll accept it. But for right now, we realize if the greatest impact we can have on saving the maximum number of dogs who have no voice is to transport transport out of state and to spay neuter. Uh, and there’s training and education certainly will be the next level down where you educate your communities. But I have somebody tambien from another town and they said, Well, you know, we feel that we should be able to educate the public like they did went for the no smoking effort and so that people don’t quit smoking because it was bad. So we should be able to educate the people so they get their dogs and cats face. And I just looked at them and said, Who’s gonna talk to the dog and cat? Sure, I said, What I think about this While you’re trying to educate yourselves, they’re out having fun, getting causing letters were having holders and they went. You can’t educate way out of pet overpopulation. You can transport in spay neuter. You’re way out of massive pet overpopulation. But you have to do both of those in tandem. Neither one of them a little we’ll get it done. Yeah, yeah, The education piece, I think, is it’s really important, and I do think it is? Ah, it plays a large part, but it can’t be the only thing. Right? Um, help with the overpopulation. So I definitely agree. And I like that you’re focusing on the two things really, for you guys in your community that have the biggest impact. So I appreciate that you recognize that, and that’s where you want your focus to be before you start something different. Thank you. That’s one of the reasons also, why it was so someone over for our board to accept. If I hold dogs back to adopt locally, I want you to come in and look up Doc in the face every day and say, I know you really want a home in Colorado. But I got to keep you here for a month and I said, I can’t do that. Don’t lose focus on what works and look at it from a a business or market driven point of view and that it works. Yeah, proof’s in the pudding. Yeah, but it’s it’s a hard thing to get people thio to see things differently, right? You I mean, that’s why you’re there and doing, and you have the impact that you do because you’re your vision is a little bit different than everybody else, right? And so I think you have to have that person or that team. You know, that can really look outside the box and try to figure out a different way to help with the problem. Yeah, and if anybody comes up with the third point, I can’t wait to hear. Yeah, well, I will definitely let you know if I hear another another good one. So, um, but I agree in that. You know, what you guys are doing is fabulous, and it works for you guys in the community. In your time In the animal welfare industry, is there a memorable story that you have that you know, just kind of makes you laugh or smile or even cry? Right? Um, one. I’m looking for a story that’s really made an impact on you. My life changed when I was at another rescue shelter before I came here, and there was a dog that was the grumpiest growly ist Steinhauser you’ve ever seen. And we had an agreement with the Lexington prison in here in Oklahoma and the program that they had at the time and we would come up. He would pick three dogs, and then I could give him one, and they would go down and work with their trainers. And then when they were socialized, they come back to be adopted, okay? And so he came to pick up history, and I said, I’ve got mine. So I take him down to look at Sergeant. He said, I’ve taken that dog. No, I sadly, we have an agreement, Okay? But I’m bringing it back. I said, Okay, so he takes his dogs. And in the hustle and bustle, you know, of trying to save animals and run a shelter? Yeah, I kind of forgot about Sarge. Fast forward, about six months and my phone rings and it’s lead. And he said, Hey, uh yes. Who’s going to be the new therapy? Doggett, the veteran center Norman and I said, Lee, I have no idea, Sarge, and I said, Huh? And there’s a documentary that they did about that. It’s also on our YouTube page. Just call the Dogs of Lexington. And it’s the story of Sarge, this grumpy, growly dog that now is the resident therapy dog. It’s in veteran center in Norman and that dog, I realized all that dog needed was somebody to be its voice. And I don’t think I ever forgot that. Has had I not been his voice, he would have not been where he is today. He would have been used in ice. I was able to, and I didn’t realize the significance of what I was doing at the time. But it has stuck with me ever since, and I think I know that is one of the reasons why I send the dogs as quickly as possible to Colorado. They have behaviorists. They have a foster families that will work with, and they have a system and a support system that will help some of the grumpy’s not the biters, just the Brumbies to become really wonderful dogs. And Sarge became the hero dog of the year for Oklahoma about three years ago. That’s amazing. It was life changing for me. I’ve never forgotten. I’m their voice. Yeah, I think you d’oh! I think it’s important for people to have that grounded statement or that thought right on on why they do what they dio. I feel like because there’s so many hard days. Um, it’s money challenging days that you have to have something you can you can really hold on to, right? Sometimes it’s that story. Sometimes it’s a statement. Sometimes it’s just that the impact of the feeling that you have from something that happened to you previously and so I think it’s really important toe to stay grounded and understand why you do what you do. And I love that, Sarge, is that one for you. So I know okay that we’ve. We’ve talked about quite a bit today, and I’ve learned so much about Pause. Is there anything else that we may have missed or that you want to talk about before we wrap things up? Only that I would like everybody certainly to look at the two videos. The one video explains our transport system. The other video explains our pets for life. And then, if you want to look at the Dogs of Lexington, the documentary, it’s on another another website. But it’s equally good. I would be I would love to talk with anybody who truly wants to help their area acknowledge the best way for them to make pet overpopulation a reality so that the dogs and cats who have no voice, you become their voice. I would help anybody do that. Anybody. I really that’s an incredible wayto to wrap things up. So we’ll definitely link the videos to the podcast recording because I do feel like those are all important videos and content that can help people, you know, down the road. I just appreciate your time and everything that you guys were doing. And in what you’ve shared with us about about pause, I so did to Rachel. If I can ever be of help in any way, just give me a call and send anybody my way. As you know, I’d love to talk to them. Will certainly do that. Thank you so much. 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