Stray, abandoned and uncared for animals are unfortunately a common problem in this country, as Bob Barker and Drew Carey have constantly reminded us with their chorus of, "Have your pets spayed or neutered."
Luckily, plenty of organizations exist to help dogs and cats find loving homes. In Tulsa, one such organization is called the Pet Adoption League.
PAL is a no-kill pet adoption agency that operates by a series of pet foster homes and boarding with veterinarians.
Linda Baxter is a board member and foster home coordinator for PAL. Baxter said that the mission of this 501c3 organization is to find loving homes for needy dogs and cats.
"We accept animals from individuals and from shelters," Baxter said. "We take all sizes and breeds."
PAL rescues and places dogs and cats, puppies and kittens.
The main way that they house pets that come in is through foster care.
"That's the best way ... to get them accustomed to a home," Baxter said, because some of the animals "have been in situations where they haven't been in a home."
PAL shows the dogs and cats that are for adoption at the 71st Street Petsmart every other Friday and every Saturday. Every Saturday, PAL shows more cats at the 41st Street Petsmart.
An interesting point about PAL is that it operates on a completely volunteer basis.
"Every penny we get in donations or adoption fees goes to the animals," Baxter said. "It all goes to their medical expenses and food, and if we have to board."
PAL keeps dogs and cats for as long as necessary to find them homes.
"We keep them until they're adpoted," Baxter said, "and if it takes a year, we keep them that long."
There is also a provision in their contract for returning animals to PAL if a household ends up being unable to keep them.
"We don't want them to end up in the kill shelters or a home that's not a good home," Baxter said.
The requirements for being a foster caretaker are simple. A foster home must have a fence, and any pets already in the home must have all of their current shots and vacccinations as well as be able to get along well with other animals. Caretakers must be able to transport the animals to show at Petsmart on weekends.
PAL has been in operation since 1998. Founding members saw "a need for a rescue group for adult dogs ... because they weren't getting into rescue," Baxter said.
"I like the way the number of dogs and cats that we've been able to help," Baxter said. "We've got a great group of volunteers.
"We're always thinking about the animals and what we can do for them instead of ourselves. That makes us a great, fantastic organization."
Thus far in its history, PAL has placed almost 4,000 animals.
Baxter said that the job has become more difficult since the economic downturn, with people having to leave their homes or having to give up their animals.
"We just try to prevent as many as we can from going to the shelter and being put down," Baxter said.
The adoption fee for cats and kittens is $90, while the fee for most dogs is $100, and $120 for most puppies.
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