It is no secret that the animal shelter in Altus has been in desperate need of help for quite some time and recently, it has been receiving the help it has needed.
Thanks to the people of Altus, the word began spreading about the conditions of the shelter and there have been many people in the community who have stepped up and volunteered their time and service to help turn it around and transform it back into what it once was.
The assistant city manager got involved, as did members of the city council — sweeping and mopping kennels as well as providing food and water to the animals.
But this was all in July.
Since then, there have been a few groups and individuals alike involved in the upkeep of the shelter and one such group was the Western’s Initiative for Developing Students or WINDS organization at Western Oklahoma State College or WOSC.
WINDS is a federally funded student support services program designed to meet the special needs of select students. The goal is to improve the retention and graduation rate of targeted students at WOSC and they do that by helping students meet academic, personal, career and social needs.
Each semester the group’s staff and student leaders meet to consider and choose a community service project.
Recently, they chose to help the Southwest Oklahoma Animal Network from Sept. 6-30 and are asking WOSC students, staff, and the public to donate and deliver items to the WINDS office or lab in an attempt to provide much needed supplies to the shelter.
In the first opportunity to work with the shelter, the group collected and donated 130 pounds of dry dog food, 23 rolls of paper towels, 15 cans of wet cat food, six pounds of dry cat food, five food bowls, four containers of cat litter, three bottles of Pine Sol, three gallons of bleach, three water bowls and three dog toys.
In addition to donating the items they received throughout the month, on Sept. 28, eight WINDS students and staff also volunteered their time by cleaning kennels, taking out trash and walking dogs, as well as helping an abused dog get used to his new surroundings at the animal shelter.
“I am proud of the Winds team for partnering with our local animal shelter,” said Winds Director Mike Pate. “The Winds team community project this year believes that the moral imperatives of a community reflect how it treats its animals. This project was a complete success for the entire community, the students, and of course the many animals that received and reciprocated love that day.”
It was a collaborative effort and brought together students from all over to serve the community they now call home. It is where they attend college and share a bonding experience they would not soon forget.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.