Give Them Shelter – Pendleton Times Post

Written by Sue Hughes | to the Times Post

Pendleton – A chance trip to McDonald’s more than a decade ago set Kelly Borgman and Angie Webster on an adventure and cause that is still very much a part of their lives.

They were both at Pendleton McDonald’s when someone dumped a pregnant young bull in the parking lot. Although Borgman and Webster did not know each other well, they worked together to catch the dog. While they were able to get this dog to a no-kill shelter, they brought up the fact that Pendleton didn’t have a plan to rescue the dogs.

Friends For Paws was created in 2011 and became a non-profit organization in 2012. At the time of its founding, it had three board members; She now has seven. It has many volunteers who help fulfill the group’s mission.

The main goal of Friends for Paws is to rescue and care for the animals until they can find a permanent home or until their family comes for them.

Borgmann, chairman of the board, is on standby 24 hours a day.

It’s not unusual to be called in the middle of the night to rescue an animal off the highway.

Borgman said that although dogs and cats are mainly what they rescue, there have been some uncommon rescues.

“We saved the chickens and the raccoons,” Borgman said.

After the hurricane in 2019, help Friends For Paws catch a little owl.

Any animal that is not considered domestic is turned over to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Feral cats are captured, neutered, and released.

The organization works with the Madison County Emergency Management Agency during times of natural disasters. Pet Disaster Relief has a trailer that EMA will post when needed.

But more routinely, Friends For Paws works with the Pendleton Police Department to apprehend dogs that may be aggressive or mischievous, she said.

“We chased a dog from Pendleton to Mount Vernon High School one time,” Borgman said.

Pendleton Police Chief Mark Freer said that years earlier Pendleton had been contracting with Anderson for animal control.

After Anderson stopped serving Pendleton, he said, “Four Paws Friends” applied to volunteer. …they’ve been an asset ever since.

“Having it as a resource is a definite plus for us. We will literally have loose animals running all over the place,” he said. “The number of stray cats is likely to explode.”

PPD Captain Lucas Traylor and his wife, Kara, are both members of the Friends For Paws board of directors.

Traylor said he and other board members and volunteers work together to ensure someone is available to respond when needed.

“Priority No. 1 is Pendleton,” he said, but the group serves other parts of southern Madison County, too.

“Everyone is so involved, you want to help any animal you can help,” Traylor said.

“The shelter is trying to do everything we can with the resources we have, which are limited.”

One thing the public can do to help everyone is to tag and microchip their pets, Freer and Traylor stressed. This can help locate owners quickly and end up with a better outcome.

Before Friends For Paws offers an animal up for adoption, it is spayed or neutered and given all of its shots.

Friends For Paws Pendleton Veterinary Clinic helps groom the animals.

“We just try to support them when we can,” said Andrea McClure, a registered veterinary technician and office manager at Pendleton Veterinary Clinic.

The clinic provides Friends For Paws services at a reduced cost, she said.

Lately they’ve been helping an animal or two a week, McClure said, but that fluctuates a bit.

And as far as you know, Friends For Paws is the only place in town you call when there’s a problem with a loose animal, McClure said.

“If it weren’t there, we might see a lot of stray animals in the area that have disease and endanger our pets, because you’ll be spreading the animals and carrying the diseases,” McClure said. “I think it’s a needed service.”

Borgmann said there are cases where rescued animals cannot be saved. Occasionally an animal has been mistreated or is in such a rough state that it can’t be helped.

Not all dogs or cats that survive are adopted.

Lexi, a 3-year-old German Shepherd, needs a double hip and knee replacement. She stayed the longest with Borgmann because nobody wanted her.

Borgmann said dogs and cats mostly get along well and don’t have any problems.

She once had a dog that turned on her and cornered her. She was able to free herself from the situation, but the dog was determined to be too sick to save her.

Often, when Borgman is out rescuing animals, her 15-year-old son, Riley, goes to help.

It also helps with walking and feeding dogs.

Borgman-Webster (who also serves as the organization’s treasurer) said there was a real need for service in Pendleton.

In addition to finding homes for cats and dogs, they educate future owners about being responsible pet owners.

There is a process that prospective new owners must go through, including a background check. There’s a cost, too: $50 for cats and $100 for dogs.

Cinnamon, a 12-week-old short-haired domestic cat, is a rescue animal who was dumped in a field with four other siblings and brought to Friends For Paws by a farmer.

In addition to helping find new homes for the animals, the organization also offers microchipping services to the public for $25.

As Pendleton has grown, so have Friends For Paws’ operations, and Borgman said the organization is also looking for a new home for itself; Somewhere where people can come and see dogs and cats available for adoption.

Currently, rescue animals are kept in the Borgmann home or in the homes of a network of other people who have agreed to take care of the animals.

Going forward, the group would also like to have more volunteers.

Currently, there are about 15 very active people.

Some of them adopt, but not everyone can do it. They only have one volunteer doing the transportation.

Volunteers are trained before they interact with dogs and cats.

There are other ways people can help. Friends For Paws takes donations for its pet store. Anything that is not used is given to pet owners who cannot afford pet supplies.

In the past, Friends For Paws relied on an annual fundraiser and other donations from the community. There are plans to do more fundraising in the near future.

“We have a great team helping us,” Borgmann said.

Board members in addition to Borgman, Webster, and Traylors are Adrienne Vollweiler, Joey Majors, and Patty Lovins.

“We need the city and they need us,” Borgman said. “We want to make a difference in society.”

The challenge now is how fast Pendleton can grow.

“The town is twice as big as when we started; we want to keep going, but we need more money and time.

Webster added: “What worries me is the way the town has grown; it has put pressure on us and the other shelters.”

Borgmann plans to continue as long as she can.

Every time she thinks about quitting, she said, another dog or cat appears in need of help.

“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” Borgman said.

To volunteer or donate, call Borgman at 765-610-8135.

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