Haven aiming to get more involved with community

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
The Haven of the Ozarks Animal Sanctuary held a new type of community event — a photo opp with Santa for pet owners and their beloved pets, over the holidays. Sanctuary Director Carolyn Fliger says she is planning to get more involved in community events. In photo, Santa feeds an owner’s pet a treat, which were handed out at the event. Contributed photo

Animal shelter: Supply ‘wish list’ ongoing throughout the year

The Haven of the Ozarks may be located in a rural location near Washburn that, for some GPS systems, can be a little challenging to find, but it might as well be on top of a hill because of the outreach and impact on the lives of the 200-plus animals it cares for, and the people who care for, love and ultimately adopt them.

Over the holidays, the animal sanctuary held a special event, inviting area residents and their pets to drop in for a photo with Santa and treats.

Staff never know what type of dogs or cats will come in at the Haven of the Ozarks Animal Sanctuary, like this unusual, creme-colored German Shepherd breed, but they know that somewhere, each pet has a potential perfect match for an owner, and they make it their mission to connect them. In the future, they’d like to host more community events to make more of those connections. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

The photo and the experience was free — along with the treats for both humans and pets — and at the event, visitors could make a donation, or pick up a ‘Christmas wish list’ of items needed to help its canine and feline occupants, such as dog and cat food and treats, pet toiletries or gift cards.

Now that the holidays are over, those needs don’t stop, said Carolyn Fliger, Haven director.

“The needs are an all-year thing,” she said. “We also have an Amazon.com wish list that we add to as we go along, [Amazon Smiles].”

The rewards of owning a pet are many and far outweigh the responsibilities, and the Haven of the Ozarks Animal Sanctuary, located near Washburn, seeks to connect pets with people, to bring owners that joy, and pets, a good life. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

The cost to adopt a dog or cat is up to $125, which includes vetting, spaying or neutering and microchipping — a package deal, considering that if taking a new pet to a vet oneself would cost much more.

“Veterinary bills are one of our biggest expenses,” Fliger said. “How much we spend on vetting expense alone is pretty staggering. It’s in the thousands.”

The sanctuary spends at least $4,800 each month on medical care, including vaccinations, medications and other needed care, and about $25,000 per year on spaying and neutering, in addition to regular medical care. Add those figures to 2,000 pounds of pet food needed each month, the cost of electricity, vehicle maintenance, gas, building and pen repair and insurance, and the Haven has some significant expenses.

The Haven of the Ozarks is a no-kill animal sanctuary that cares for 200-plus dogs and cats, but the cost of saving lives is staggering, at $4,800 each month in medical veterinary expenses, purchasing 2,000 pounds of food each month and about $25,000 per year on spaying and neutering costs alone. Contributed photo

As much as it costs to run an animal sanctuary, especially a no-kill facility where animals are kept until they find a home, the sanctuary solely depends on donations to keep the facility running, and save those lives.

The Haven is open to receiving donations, such as those on their list for supplies, or online on Amazon Smile, at any time, as well as volunteers to help keep things going, down to walking dogs and petting cats to keep the animals company.

Donations can even be made in honor of a loved one, special person or a beloved pet, and each and every donation, big or small, is appreciated.

On the Haven’s Facebook page, staff extends their thanks to all donators of time, money and supplies, stating, “It means the world to us and to the pets we serve.”

In addition to meeting all of their supply needs, the Haven is also looking to meet another kind of need — the need to connect more in the community, as a means to connect pets with people as well as promote awareness of the sanctuary.

Fliger, who took over as director of the facility about three months ago, said she would like to get more involved on a local level.

“We are making plans to do some local events,” she said. “It’s pretty here and I’d like to get more events here on the property, maybe some grills and bonfires. I think it’s important to be local. I definitely want to get more involved with the community. I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”

The sanctuary currently holds three adoption events a year at Cassville’s Tractor Supply Store, as well as adoption events in Republic, Springfield and Fayetteville, Ark. The sanctuary is currently looking for a driver to go to Rogers, Ark., so they can hold adoption events there.

For more information on adopting a pet or making a donation, the Haven can be reached at 417-835-3647, on its Facebook page, on its website at www.havenoftheozarks.com or by emailing thehaven@centurylink.net.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days per week.

If driving to the sanctuary, Fliger recommends not relying on GPS, but visiting the website for specific instructions.

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