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First KNID Pet Project shines a spotlight on community support for ESPCA | National News

Aug. 28—ENID, Okla.—The first KNID Pet Project was held Saturday in hopes of finding homes for a few dozen dogs in the care of the Enid Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Organized by radio station KNID, Jacksons of Enid and RE/MAX, the event was held in support of ESPCA after an outbreak of distemper closed the shelter for a few weeks over the summer.

Distemper is a disease carried by wild animals that can be easily transmitted and can be fatal to young dogs.

“I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and this is the first year I’ve seen distempter,” said Vickie Grantz, executive director of the ESPCA. “It’s a virus that’s spread by wild animals … raccoons, coyotes, skunks. Dogs can get it from their saliva. So if you have dogs outside and you have a water bowl or a food bowl and the raccoon carries it , they can take it without being sick. If they reach out and grab the food, they can contaminate that plate of food.”

Grantz said that parvo is seen every year and has a survival rate of about 90%. Distemper can be a much more devastating disease for puppies.

“So it’s very important that we vaccinate our animals and know that just because they’re in your backyard doesn’t mean they’re safe from some diseases,” Grantz said.

Grantz said they had about 25 dogs up for adoption on Saturday and still have a few at the shelter available for adoption. The KNID Pet Project is a type of event that can allow animals in the care of ESPCA and animals in foster homes to be brought to the same location so they can be adopted.

“Many of our off-site events are a great opportunity for host families to bring their dogs for the public to see,” Grantz said. “And the adopter is the perfect person to communicate with someone who is interested in a dog. They know her behavior … so adopters really play a very important role in helping us get these animals into homes.”

She said adult volunteers can become advocates for an individual animal, which can help the animal be more easily adopted.

Kimberly Crist, KNID’s new director of promotions, said the idea for the event came after learning about the problems ESPCA faced during the summer distemper outbreak.

“That hindered their donations. Through that, I don’t think the public realized that they still had puppies that were available for adoption,” Crist said. “They had a really tough time with the disease at the shelter, so we saw an opportunity to get involved and help out and try to get the community involved with some donations and some adoptions to get some of these sweet pups adopted. They’ve got tons cute”.

KNID’s Matt Cruz said that because this is the event’s first year, there was no goal for money to raise or animals to adopt. He said KNID runs similar events for charity throughout the year, and next year’s Pet Project event will be poised to top this year’s once they find out how successful it is.

Jaymi Jander, director of sales for KNID, said the shelter needed a lot of things that not everyone can think of when they think of an animal shelter.

“There’s a lot more to it than adoptions, too,” Jander said. “In the shelter they have to have food to feed them, shampoo to wash them, volunteers, and blankets, and towels to clean up the poop… You wouldn’t even think about that, but they need it.”

Grantz said she was pleased with how busy Saturday’s event was after the shelter closed for a few weeks over the summer. She said the event also served as an opportunity to learn more about how people can help ESPCA.

“He’s busy, very busy, which is unbelievable,” Grantz said. “It’s been a bit of a tough summer for animal welfare, and to be able to see so many interested in adopting puppies or just learning more about the Enid SPCA, learning what it’s like to be a foster home for a dog.”

Community involvement and the success of ESPCA go hand in hand. Grantz said they couldn’t do it without the community, and being able to interact with people helps bring to light the reasons why they do what they do.

“It’s very important. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people in our community who love animals and love the same mission that we do,” Grantz said. “It empowers us to get other people excited about what we do. It gives us a second wind and allows us to get excited about what we do again.”

Holubar is a business reporter for Enid News & Eagle.

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