|Made in the Shade: Volunteers come through to help provide trees for animal shelter|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
July 26, 2006 -- There were shady goings-on at the animal shelter Thursday morning, but not to worry. The activity by city staff, police and animal control officers was merely the fruition of one woman's quest to provide a bit of respite for the animals at the city pound.
Kathy Ward Ward became concerned for the pound pups after noticing the dogs panting in the heat on the shelter grounds. She learned it is standard practice for the animals to be placed outside the building while animal control officers and shelter workers clean out their cages and for exercise each day.
Unfortunately, there was very little shade at the shelter where the dogs, while still chained, could romp and enjoy being outside, which means the parched pooches endured those hot rays with little respite.
Ward contacted Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jim Bayuk to see what could be done to aid the dogs during their waits outside. She then asked and received permission to provide and plant about a dozen trees on the property. Bayuk told her that if she could come up with the trees, he would see that they got planted and were cared for.
After contacting local nurseries, Ward learned the cost of the trees was a bit more than she was prepared to afford. So, she contacted the News-Telegram at the end of June and put out a plea for help to furnish a dozen trees for the dogs.
The project was well received, with more than a dozen people expressing interest in the project. At the beginning of the week, she had turned down at least four people offering to help because they already had met their quota. They had a dozen 15-foot trees ready for planting. City officials, with approval from manager Marc Maxwell, located lines and offered equipment to help dig deep enough holes in which to plant the red oak, Chinese pistachio and maple trees.
Thursday morning, city police, animal control officers and others gathered at Sulphur Springs Animal Shelter to plant the trees donated by Ralph and Trisha Tidwell, Les South, James and Lorraine Bradley, Ms. Alma Owen, Sylvia Kilbart, Vanessa Blunt, Pamela Johnson and East Texas Landscaping.
While the trees are still small, city and police officials will continue to care for the trees so that they will one day offer heavy shade for the dogs.