By Judith Roberts
To celebrate the holiday season, The Lincoln Parish Journal has made a donation to 4Paws Rescue Animal Shelter.
4Paws is currently searching for contributions to keep the doors open at its no-kill shelter.
“We have 67 dogs,” said Sue Martin, director of 4Paws. “We keep 65 to 70, and this is one of our problems. We had around 55. That was about normal. Then Ouachita Parish quit taking in animals from other parishes. That has been a crisis. People don’t understand it. Now we’re having to feed and care for 20 more.”
Martin said she doesn’t think people realize what will happen if 4Paws closes.
“People are saying, ‘But Ruston is building a new shelter.’ Yes, but it’s for the city,” she said. “We take in Lincoln, Bienville, Claiborne, Union, Ouachita, Jackson and we’ve had to stop. And the dogs are languishing. They’re just out there. We’re turning away a dozen a day. It’s hard because the people say, ‘This dog just showed up in my yard and I have five. I can’t keep him.’ And we used to say, we’ll bring you some food, but now we can’t even do that.”
Currently, the biggest need is financial, Martin said.
“Right now, we need money,” Martin said. “We’re seeking 200 people to give $20 a month. That would give us $2,000 a month, which is what we need. We are sending out letters to former donors and I’m visiting area businesses, looking for corporate sponsors.”
All donations are tax deductible, and an automated draft can be set up from a donor’s bank account.
“We have a new website,” Martin said. “A marketing class at Tech made us a website, and it’s wonderful. On the site is the (donation form). It’ll bring that form out. All of (the volunteers) – we don’t get a paid a dime, and we give. It’s automatically deducted. This way it’s done for you.”
Another way to increase awareness is through events, such as the Pictures with Santa, scheduled from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 at the 4Paws Dog Park.
“We’re going to have an ugly sweater contest – for the dogs and the people,” Martin said.
Additionally the 4Paws Dog Park is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To assist with 4Paws, visit https://www.4pawsrescueinc.org/donate.