We LOVE Volunteers


As with most non-profit organizations, volunteers make the world go round at the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC). That was proven most recently at our Canines, Cats, and Cabernet fundraising event on March 18. It was a big event with many facets.
Fortunately, it wasn’t a huge job for any one person. Margaret Clayton contacted sponsors. Ann Willard organized volunteers. Carolyn Smith, with the help of others, made wonderful gift baskets for sponsors and food contributors. Sherry Bailey planned and organized silent and live auctions. Dave Olhausen was the Ticket Seller Extraordinaire. Stacy Odom solicited contributors of all the delicious food. Penny Riggs created the wonderful table decorations.
The food was made and served by the restaurants at no charge. The good folks from Steves’ Market, The Sticks, Brownwood Country Club, Prima Pasta, The Hideout, Chili’s, Mi Familia, Doc’s, Sweet Life Treats, and even the guys from Hi-Way Auto, contributed their time, talent, and groceries.
This event is put on almost exclusively by volunteers. Some, like Gail Matott and Jane Holmes, volunteer regularly at CTSAC. Others, like Dean Keisling and Carol Taylor, volunteer for special events. Every member of our wonderful board of directors, not only volunteered at the event, but worked diligently for weeks before getting ready.
Many of the incredible auction items were created by volunteers. Mitchell Wilkerson built a fire pit, Pauline McBride contributed a beautiful patriotic quilt, and Cindy Hadley made some adorable cat and dog themed quilts and pillows.
The volunteers I have mentioned are only a tiny part of the group of volunteers that made this event possible. We give a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.
My favorite quote is from Margaret Mead. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Animal overpopulation is a huge problem in our area. Almost 3,500 dogs and cats are cared for at CTSAC each year. Some find new homes, and some don’t. It’s not a problem that can be solved by shelter staff alone. Pet overpopulation is a problem that we created as a community, and the only way it can be solved is with a community effort.
CTSAC has wonderful volunteers that work for our shelter and our animals in so many different ways. Some work regularly at the shelter; some rarely come to the shelter. They do their work on Facebook or volunteer for special events. They foster animals while they are waiting for transport to a rescue organization. Some come to the shelter, but don’t work specifically with the dogs or cats. They take pictures to post on Facebook or on our website. They work at the front counter helping visitors. Leslie Courington makes all of the beautiful wall decorations you see as you come in the front door.
We would love to have you join our “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” while we work to make our community a better place for the animals that live here and the people who love them. If you would like to volunteer at the shelter, volunteer orientation is every Thursday at 2pm. If you can’t come to the shelter but want to volunteer to help in other ways, call Carren at 325-646-0617, and tell her what you have in mind. New volunteers are always welcome.

New Animal Intake Policies


Critter Talk Column
by Freda Day, Corinne T. Smith Animal Center
It’s spring, and canine and feline love is in the air. At Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC) we have already started getting litter after litter of kittens and puppies brought to us. Quite often, they are brought in way too early to be placed up for adoption. CTSAC, or any shelter, is not a good place for babies, particularly ones without a mama to care for them.
Good Samaritans commonly pick up litters of kittens, and bring them to us, but it’s the worst possible thing for these babies. The vast majority of times, that litter of kittens you find alone have not been deserted by their mother. It takes a lot of energy to feed yourself and a litter of kittens, so mom is out hunting. She will return to her babies, and if they are gone, she will be left confused and full of milk.
Unless you see mama cat dead in the street, please leave her babies alone. If they must be moved from where she left them, move them to a safe spot close by. The kittens’ best chance is waiting for their mom. Bringing them to the shelter is not the answer.
On a different note, CTSAC is changing our animal intake policies a little bit. We are asking people to call us and make an appointment to bring animals to us. We will be able to fill out paperwork over the phone, and make sure information is complete and legible. It will also be easier for all of us when you get to the shelter. We will be prepared to receive your pets, and you won’t have to wait so long.
I realize that this will be inconvenient for some, but it will also enable us to provide much better care for our dogs and cats. When you decide you need to release a pet to us, you would call us. At that point we would talk to you about possible alternatives to releasing him to us. Sometimes we can help find a way for you to keep your pet. If you still want to bring him to us, we would do the paperwork by phone. We would set up an appointment for you to bring the dog or cat to us. When you come in, all you will need to do is sign the paperwork and hand the pet over to us. Since we knew you were coming, we would be ready to accept the pet, and would be able to start our intake (vaccinations, heartworm test, etc) right then.
Since we won’t have fifteen animals coming in within fifteen minutes, our intake staff will be able to give each animal more time. That’s important, because every animal is afraid when they are brought to us, and if our staff is rushed there is always the possibility of bites, and that’s not good for anyone.
Of course, there are no appointments for adoptions. Come on out anytime we are open and have a look. As always, we are full of sweet dogs and cats available for adoption.
We are open Monday through Thursday from 1pm to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. For more information, call 325-646-0617.

Bring a Little Love


It’s that time of the year. Valentine’s Day is here, and love is in the air. What better way to bring some love into your life than to adopt a shelter sweetheart?

The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC) is trying to help make that happen. For one week, from Sunday February 8, 2015 through February 15, 2015 most of our adoption fees will be dramatically cheaper. Any dog or cat that was already spayed or neutered when it was brought to us will have a $14 adoption fee. All adult (or nearly adult) dogs, at least six months old, will have the adoption fee cut in half. Therefore, dogs that would ordinarily be $150 will be only $75. All adult (or nearly adult) cats, six months and older, will be only $45 instead of $90.

As usual, for dogs that will include at least one five in one booster vaccination, a kennel cough vaccination, rabies vaccination, microchip, and spay or neuter. Each dog at least six month old will also have been heartworm tested. Cat adoptions will include the spay or neuter, four in one vaccination, rabies vaccination, and microchip.

If you have been considering getting a pet, this is the time. If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, come on down to CTSAC and find a Valentine that will give you a lifetime of unconditional love. What better place to find the dog of your dreams, or maybe a hunka hunka purrin’ love?

CTSAC volunteers are deep in planning and preparation for our Canines, Cats, and Cabernet fundraising event, which will take place March 20, 2015 at the Depot Cultural Center. This is our ninth year to hold the event, and each year is better than the one before. This year will be no different.

This year, Canines, Cats, and Cabernet is going Vegas style. We will have all the fun of years past…great local food, lots of different wines and unusual beers, live and silent auctions, but we will have another bunch of fun thrown in. In addition to all that, we will have a casino party. There will be blackjack tables, craps tables, roulette table, poker tables, and authentic Vegas slot machines.

It should be a great night, full of fun. I hope everyone remembers that 100% of the proceeds from this event go to caring for the homeless animals at CTSAC. Tickets are on sale now for $60.
For more information, call 325-646-0617, or better yet, come on out to 3016 Milam Drive, and bring a little love into your life, and the life of a dog or cat needing a someone to love. CTSAC is open for adoptions and lost pet searches Monday through Thursday from 1pm to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. We are open for animal intake Monday through Thursday from 1pm to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm.

Sadie’s Tale


I want to tell you a story about a dog named Sadie.  Sadie was adopted from the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center about six months ago by a very nice family.  Sadie was rambunctious and playful, and so very happy to have a family.  Almost immediately, Sadie began coming to my house to visit.  When I first saw her, she looked familiar. When I looked at her tag, I knew it was Sadie.  I called her family, and a young girl came to get her.  Sadie continued to come visit.  Her family only lives a block from me, but I live a block from a major highway.  I often saw her trotting past my house heading for Highway 377 and Heartland Mall.

Twice, neighbors found Sadie and brought her to my house.  Twice, I sent them down the street to the owner’s home.  Sadie kept roaming to and across the highway.  After a couple of months, I found Sadie in the highway.  I was on my way to work, as were many others, and it was a miracle that the sweet girl wasn’t killed on the busy road.  I pulled over, picked her up, and took her to the shelter.  She no longer had a collar, but since Sadie has a microchip, we could still call her family.

A few days later, Sadie’s family came to get her.  We discussed ways to keep Sadie at home.  The problem is that Sadie is quite the jumper and climber.  Her family decided that she should be an inside dog, and Sadie liked that idea.  For a while Sadie stayed inside with her family, and went for walks on a leash.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last long.  I am not being critical of Sadie’s family.  They are obviously good people, but once again, Sadie was roaming at will back and forth across Highway 377.

Recently, while I was at the Mall, Sadie wandered up to the door.  At first I wasn’t sure it was her.  She no longer wore a collar.  She stayed with us until a teenage girl walked by and identified her as belonging to her sister.  I would happily have given the young lady back the dog, but when I told her that if Sadie continued to run loose, she would be run over, she said she didn’t care; she wanted to be rid of the dog.  So, I took Sadie to the shelter.

Later, the mom and children came to the Mall to find out about Sadie.  I told them that Sadie was at the shelter and could be reclaimed for a $50 fee.  My friend, Cary, was with me.  She talked to the teenage owner about the fact that they obviously loved Sadie, and Sadie is obviously a very good girl.  She told them that they would feel awful if Sadie was run over, and that it might be better if Sadie found a new home away from the busy road.

At that moment, they agreed, but the next day they came to the shelter and reclaimed Sadie.  Happily, two days later Sadie still hasn’t come to visit me.  They are obviously working hard to keep her off the streets, because she’s a wily little girl.  So, all’s well that ends well.  Sadie’s at home with her family, and she and highway travelers are all safe.



I’m Blogging


I am a blogger. I am so excited.

The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC) is part of a larger community of animals and people. We are part of the community. The animal issues we deal with are community issues. Any successful solution for our local issues of dog and cat overpopulation, abuse, neglect, and the endless euthanasia will come from a partnership between CTSAC and our community.  I’m hoping that this blog helps draw people in the community into our world just a little more.  Welcome to our blog.