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Consider the animal shelter when gifting this season

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Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 3:30 pm

The First Annual Bastrop County Animal Shelter entry in the Lost Pines Lighted Christmas Parade in Bastrop on Dec. 9 was declared “a blast” by the many volunteers who helped.  

Deanna Montgomery, volunteer coordinator for the shelter, organized the float entry. 

Residents are reminded there are still many ways to help this season and that the animals at the county shelter need your donations.  

Ashley Hermans, Director of Animal Services for Bastrop County, says a plea for new dog beds was met in record time recently by the “wonderful and supportive folks with great hearts who helped us exceed our goal of 90 beds for the kennel,” but there are ongoing needs to be met.

The shelter is the largest public facility in the county, which can house and care for stray animals, an annual number that can reach 4,500 animals a year rescued from the surrounding area and towns. 

Services include microchips by appointment for $15 and will soon offer vaccinations to the public, housing for all lost, abandoned and homeless cats and dogs throughout the county, returning animals to owners and adoptions as well as working with rescues to find placements for pets.  

Bastrop, Smithville, and Elgin have animal control officers, but they do not have their own facilities. For stray animals around Elgin, call the Elgin Police Department, and request assistance from Animal Control Officer, Marc Allen, 512-285-5757.

Established in 1998, the shelter has grown as Bastrop County needs have grown. 

Currently, there are three separate buildings containing a total of 90 large indoor/outdoor kennels and eight play yards. Also, 30 indoor cat kennels and a three-room cattery that enables cats to live together in colony type environments until they find their forever home. 

The new Wellness and Spay/Neuter building is underway on the existing site; at a cost of $160,000 it is targeted to be built by late May 2018 and to house a part-time veterinarian and expand services as additional funds are available, providing another opportunity to help local pet owners.  

Bastrop County Commissioner, Gary “Bubba” Snowden, commissioner for Precinct 4, which encompasses the northwestern part of the county including Elgin, is the liaison for the shelter and was integral in securing the funds for the Wellness and Spay/Neuter building which had its official groundbreaking on Aug. 19.  

The shelter depends on donated food and cat litter and on-cash donations to help cover the costs of projects outside of the normal operations of the shelter. Most other “operations” costs are covered by Bastrop County.  

A group of dedicated “Friends of the Bastrop County Animal Shelter” 501(c)(3) assists with many types of projects. The Friends group has a website www.bcasfriends.org where donations can be made online, memorials or tributes can be made, or checks can be mailed to Friends of Bastrop County Animal Shelter (FBCAS) P.O. Box 2219 Bastrop, TX 78602.  

The funding will be used to support the FBCAS’s mission for the “humane care and treatment of animals,” while in the shelter’s care.   

Wish list items such as basic cleaning supplies like bleach and paper towels are listed on the Friends’ website which include but are not limited to: dry dog food, wet cat food, cat litter (both clumping and non-clumping). 

Full-sized towels and throw blanket-sized blankets all help with kennel comfort and can be dropped off at the shelter, which is located at 589 Cool Water Drive between Elgin and Bastrop. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11-4 p.m. and Sunday 11-3 p.m.

Adopters are encouraged to arrive at the shelter at least an hour before closing to complete an application and meet the animals. In the spirit of the holiday season, the shelter is lowering prices. All dogs and puppies 6+ months are $50 and all cats and kittens 4+ months are $25.

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