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C.A.R.A. (Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption)

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Author Topic: C.A.R.A. (Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption)  (Read 1763 times)
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 03:06:23 pm »

There are three local animal shelters discussed in the article below, and it's easy to get them confused:  the city of Danville Humane Society, the larger Vermilion County Animal Shelter in Tilton, and the separate all-volunteer, NON-tax-supported no-kill CARA shelter in Tilton.  All are suffering from the influx of unwanted pets, especially since this is also kitten season.  A reminder -- PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET TO HELP CURTAIL THIS HUGE OVERPOPULATION, and if you truly love cats or dogs, please volunteer or donate in any way possible.  Thank you.

May 22, 2011
Economy takes toll on families, animals

BY MARY WICOFF Commercial-News The Commercial-News Sun May 22, 2011, 04:12 AM CDT

DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Animal Shelter keeps a box of Kleenex on its counter for those who have to give up their pets.  “It’s hard on us to see people cry — they’re devastated,” volunteer Nancy Gulick said.

Pets are feeling the pinch of a tough economy, as more owners find it’s too expensive to feed and maintain the health of an animal. Representatives at all three shelters say they’ve seen an increase in the number of animals surrendered or abandoned by their owners.

The higher number of animals puts a strain on the shelters, too, which have their own financial struggles.

City shelter

At the Humane Society of Danville, workers are picking up more dogs that have been dumped. Recently, someone left five dogs in the shelter yard, all apparently from the same household.

Shawn Miller, who will become shelter director in July, said people may be turning their animals loose so they don’t have to pay the turn-in fee at the shelter — $7 per dog and $5 per cat. However, the shelter will work out a payment plan if a family turns in several pets at once.

The fees help cover the pet’s expenses, such as food, he said, adding, “We don’t think it’s too much to ask.”

When people do turn in an animal, the most common reason is that they’re moving, Miller said.

Miller said it’s much better for the pet if the owner turns it in. In that case, the dog or cat can be put on the adoption floor right away, and it has a better chance of finding a home.

Otherwise, all strays picked up have to be held seven days, which is stressful on the animal.

If a pet gets loose, the owner has to pay several fees to reclaim it, including the $35 impound fee and $5 a day boarding. If needed, there’s also a $7.50 fee for a city license, $15 for a microchip and $20 for vaccinations.

Some people would rather leave the animal at the shelter than pay those costs. However, Miller said, a responsible owner comes looking for his pet.

There is no screening process to adopt an animal from the city shelter, but the staff reserves the right to reject a person based on past history or if there are suspicions about his ability to care for the pet.

In 2010, the city shelter adopted out 307 dogs and cats, returned 306 to their owners, picked up 154 bodies and euthanized 902.

County shelter

At the Vermilion County Animal Shelter, there is no charge for a person to drop off an animal. However, the shelter does ask for a donation.

The county shelter, as well as the other two, will take animals besides dogs and cats, such as hamsters, rabbits, ferrets and birds.

The reasons heard most often by the staff are that the people are moving, downsizing or they can’t afford it.

J.R. Mosay, acting director, said he’s noticed a higher number of animals returned that were adopted years ago, and the people can no longer afford the pet.

“These were people who were responsible owners three to four years ago, but they can’t do it now,” he said. “These are people who really care for animals, but they don’t have the financial capabilities anymore.”

Still, they’re doing the right thing by returning the animal to the shelter, he said.

If it’s a loved pet, the family wants to know the animal will find a home. There’s no guarantee that will happen, Gulick said, but an animal entering the shelter does have a good chance.

In recent years, Gulick has been involved with several rescue groups, and has managed to save hundreds of animals.

Mosay said, “We take pride in the fact we’re trying to save as many as we can. They’re going out the door faster than you can learn their names.”

Animals are euthanized only if they’re not adoptable due to health or temperament problems. The euthanization rate is way below the national average of about 50 percent.

In the first four months of this year, 678 animals have come in to the shelter, and 492 have gone to homes or rescue sites. During the same time period in 2010, 667 animals came in and 480 went out.

Gulick said, “The community should be proud of the shelter and what it’s doing to help them with their pets that they can’t take care of anymore. We understand how hard it is with this economy.

“It’s bad enough that they have to give up a part of their family, but they should have some peace of mind knowing there are people who care. From the moment they bring them in the door, we are working on getting them out and into a home or rescue.”

Gulick also said the shelter is seeing more animals brought in with heartworms, possibly because the owners can’t afford the heartworm preventative tablets, and also more cases of canine influenza. Mosay said the shelter used to see two or three heartworm cases a month, but now workers are seeing five in one week, from all parts of the county.

The county shelter has a screening process, which includes calling the veterinarian used by the person in the past. Some people are denied.

If a person returns an animal that’s been adopted, he or she has to wait six months before adopting again.

No-kill shelter

CARA — Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption — is a no-kill shelter that opened in Tilton in April 2009. The shelter is always full, and there is a waiting list if you want to surrender a dog or cat.

Volunteers are seeing more animals being brought in.  However, adoptions are up as CARA becomes better known.

The top reasons people give for surrendering an animal are: they’re moving and the landlord won’t allow pets, and allergies, according to volunteer Kim Blodgett. A lot say they can’t afford the shots, medical care and grooming.

People who surrender a mother cat are asked to pay $50 for her spay surgery. In recent weeks, the shelter received nine sets of mothers and kittens.

CARA has an application process that could involve home visits and vet references. CARA’s adoption fees are $60 for cats and $80 for dogs, and that includes spay/neuter, microchip, shots.

Shelter expenses

The Danville shelter receives $73,000 a year from the city, and the rest of its budget comes from fees, adoptions and the thrift shop, a major contributor.

Like everyone else, however, the shelter is being hurt by gas prices. The trucks, which run seven days a week, take $800 a month in gas.   “We can’t waive fees, or we couldn’t stay afloat,” Miller said.

Gulick, who drives to rescue sites in Chicago and Indianapolis, said, “Gas prices are killing us.” The animal shelter foundation, which pays for the gas, would appreciate donations of gas cards, she said.

Gas prices are hurting CARA, too, which takes animals to Indiana for spay/neuter.  But, Blodgett said, “We’re still doing it.”  “Because it needs to be done,” Richardson quickly added.

CARA couldn’t operate without its volunteers, both women said. At least 30-40 people volunteer on a regular basis.

A good feeling

While rescuing and caring for animals can be stressful, everyone agreed the benefits outweigh the stress.  Richardson said new owners will post pictures of their happy pets on CARA’s Facebook page.

“That’s what makes it all worthwhile — that’s why we do it, for the rewards,” Richardson said.   “We do it because of love for every animal,” Blodgett said. “We love them.”

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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2011, 03:31:00 pm »

May 22, 2011
Consider costs before adopting a pet

BY MARY WICOFF Commercial-News The Commercial-News Sun May 22, 2011, 04:05 AM CDT

DANVILLE — That puppy or kitten is cuddly and cute, but it also requires a commitment of time and money.  The bottom line is: Owning a pet is a big responsibility.

“If you can’t afford a dog, you shouldn’t be a pet owner,” said JoAnn Adams, director of the Humane Society of Danville.

Besides food and shelter, a pet owner needs to provide vaccinations, health checkups, preventative treatment (for heartworms, for example) and a city license, and also allow for medical emergencies. Owners are strongly encouraged to get dogs and cats spayed or neutered, as well.

Sharon Richardson, a volunteer with CARA — Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption — said potential owners should ask themselves if they have the time and money to care for a pet.

“You need to think it through from beginning to end when you’re getting a pet,” she said. Sometimes the kids talk a parent into adopting a pet, but reality sets in later as the pet gets older.

Nancy Gulick, a volunteer with the Vermilion County Animal Shelter, agreed that feeding a dog or cat isn’t enough.  If a person can’t commit to that animal, he or she should reconsider.

Diana Bryant, president of the county shelter’s foundation, said it’s not fair to the pet when an owner can’t take care of it, especially when there’s a medical problem or an emergency.

All three shelters want pets to go to good homes, and they want the match to work. If money is tight, there are options.


Spaying female dogs and cats and neutering male dogs and cats helps cut down on the pet over-population problem. There are other benefits, including an improvement in the animal’s health and temperament.

Both CARA and the Vermilion County Animal Shelter Foundation offer low-cost spay/neuter programs.

--To set up an appointment through CARA, call 655-4353 or 799-8858; its website is . In the past two years, the shelter has taken 2,000 dogs and cats to surgery.

--To set up an appointment through the county’s Foundation, call 431-0332; its website is

At the Danville Humane Society, a pet that is adopted gets a reduced cost on spay/neuter at local veterinarians’ offices. The cost is $75 for female dogs and cats; $55 for male dogs; and $40 for male cats.


The county has rabies clinics set up on June 4: 8:30-11 a.m., Georgetown city garage; 9-10:30 a.m., Rossville old fire station; and 9-10:30 a.m., Sidell Village Hall.

Cost is $17 for the shots; the cost for tags is extra, and is higher for dogs and cats that are not spayed or neutered.

The shelter also will offer microchips for $15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11 at the shelter on the Catlin-Tilton Road.

CARA also offers rabies shots for $12, and other vaccinations (see its website for prices).

Other help

Instead of automatically taking an animal to a shelter, pursue other options.

Richardson said, “Don’t do the easy thing (right away). Make an effort to find a home for it. Talk to your friends and family and try to find a home for this pet.” Use social networks on the Internet, as well.

CARA volunteers have pets up for adoption every Saturday at Big R, and they’d be glad to help a responsible owner “market” his pet.

Also, if an animal has a behavioral problem, don’t give up on it, she said.

“Try to make it work. Identify the problem and fix it,” Richardson said, adding there is a lot of information on the Internet about training.

Consider rescue sites for your dogs, as well. The county shelter works with numerous sites across the country.

The county shelter’s foundation sometimes has adoptions at the Village Mall on Saturdays.

Vet bills

The following tips were found at

1. Start with your vet. Some vets may offer a payment plan for existing customers with good track records. Your vet also may let you defer the payment for a later date or offer a discount.

2. Look for a cheaper alternative. If your pet isn’t facing a life-threatening crisis, take a day or two to do some price comparison shopping. Some animal-rescue or welfare groups offer low-cost services for vaccinations and spay/neutering procedures.

3. Contact a veterinary college, some of which offer discounted services to people in need. Most of these services include routine checkups, vaccinations, and small procedures, such as neutering or spaying. However, they may not be able to help if your pet has a serious illness or injury. The University of Illinois has a College of Veterinary Medicine; call 333-2760 or visit

Purdue University has a School of Veterinary Medicine; (765) 494-7607;

4. The American Animal Hospital Association offers help for vet bills through a grant program known as the Helping Pets Fund . You can use grants to cover the cost of all veterinary services. But you can’t apply for a grant directly — your vet will have to apply on your behalf.  

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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2011, 12:48:44 pm »

If you can, please HELP little Gizmo with his medical expenses.  He was found severely abused and needs surgery for multiple fractures.

You may go to to make a secure donation through PayPal, or visit/send to CARA No-Kill Shelter, 609 East 5th St, Tilton IL  61833, or give to a CARA volunteer at any of their off-site adoption locations below, SATURDAYS, 10am to 3pm.
Pet Supplies Plus  -  2917 N. Vermilion, Danville IL
Big R - 3363 N. Vermilion, Danville IL
Big R - 1625 S. Georgetown Rd, Tilton IL
For more info, please call 217-655-4353 or 799-8858

A hot weather reminder to be aware of any animals in distress, chained in sun or hot sheds, or left in cars.  Please do not hesitate to call authorities, or help immediately by supplying cool fresh water and shade. 

As always, thank you and bless you for caring.

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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2011, 07:48:57 pm »

Here's hoping you and yours have many blessings for which to be thankful this season!
Please remember those less fortunate who are in need of food, warmth and attention.
Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving from the animal carers at C.A.R.A.
Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption
609 E. 5th St. - Tilton, IL (old Nazarene Church at northeast end of 14 St. bridge)
Ph: (217) 655-4353 or 799-8858

Mailing address: 
P.O. Box 665
Catlin, IL 61817
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2011, 12:22:58 pm »

March, 2011-Poor Riley was found alone in a very rural part of IN. She could barely stand up or walk, she would take a few steps before falling to ground, struggling with every breath, alone, cold, hungry, determined for a 2nd. chance.

Riley likely grew up in a crate. With a tired/worn body full of sores & legs that would not hold her due to improperly formed ligaments & lack of muscle tone. She was emaciated & her teeth have been filed down to the gum line.
Continued at
Riley Rose is one of many in need at CARA but now requires further help.
If you'd like to chip in to help this poor abused creature, please read more about her at the above pet-rescue site.
Thank you and God bless!

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