PHOENIX, Ore.–The Jackson County Animal Shelter is a county building lacking decoration since the facilities need to remain sterile to reduce the spread of diseases. So, what do you get when you mix that environment with twenty-seven 3rd graders who want to help beautify the Shelter? Walker Elementary School teacher, Debi Blair, and Friends of the Animal Shelter Volunteer Services Manager, Susan Meyerott, put their heads together and came up with a wonderful solution.
Each of Blair’s 3rd-grade students at Walker Elementary School created a unique, washable 8″ x 8″ painted tile with images of dogs and cats, which are being mounted in the dog and cat adoption areas and the “cuddle room.” To prepare for painting the tiles, the students studied stories of struggle and survival for stray animals.
The children were present at the unveiling of the tiles then toured the Shelter afterwards to learn more about humane treatment of animals and the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. These twenty-four brightly colored tiles on the welcome wall will greet potential adopters upon entering the dog kennels and help to provide a cheerful adoption environment.
Two tiles will be mounted outside of the cat adoption area. The duo for the cat kennel wall is based on the true story of Bobbi the dog and Bobcat the cat who became strays after Hurricane Katrina. Their story is told in a children’s book, The Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival, by Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. After months of living on the streets of New Orleans together, they wandered onto a construction site. They ended up at a temporary shelter set up by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. When Bobbi and Bobcat, who is blind, were housed in separate rooms, Bobbi howled and barked all night. So volunteers made a pen large enough for both Bobbi and Bobcat. They were in heaven! The “Two Bobbies” made a TV appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, and were driven to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah, where hundreds of people inquired about them. A lucky couple in Oregon adopted them!
The Friends of the Animal Shelter paid for the mounting of the tiles in the dog and cat kennels. The Shelter is near capacity for both dogs and cats who are waiting for their forever homes; and they are always looking for fosters to take care of dogs and cats for both short-term and long-term fosters.