Closed but not closed: Plenty of pets to adopt at Pratt shelter

Courtney Blankenship
Pratt Area Humane Society manager April Hemphill holds a lap full of friendly felines, just a few of more than 10 available for adoption in Pratt.

Unlike, many humane societies around the state, the Pratt Area Humane Society (PAHS) still has animals to adopt during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are still 10 dogs, 11 cats and 4 guinea pigs waiting to be adopted.

April Hemphill, shelter manager at the Pratt Area Humane Society, said that despite being closed because of coronavirus restrictions, the shelter is still taking appointments, facilitating adoptions, accepting donations and taking in stray animals.

“We haven’t had as many strays in, so that’s a good thing,” Hemphill said. “Probably because everyone is at home with their dogs.”

Anyone interested in adopting a new pet, may check the Pratt Area Humane Society Facebook and website in order to see photos of the animals and fill out the application, which can be found on the website.

Once the application is completed, it can be emailed, mailed, or left in the mailbox at PAHS. If the application is approved, Hemphill said an appointment will be set up to meet the animal and finish the adoption process, with adoptions typically being completed between 1-2 days

Due to the limits on large gatherings and fears over the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraisers that had been planned for this year to raise money for the shelter have been more difficult to plan with the future being so uncertain.

Hemphill said that donations like cleaning supplies, cat litter, and money are helpful, except for food, because the shelter is already contracted with a company that provides discounted food.

People can call ahead of time to bring the donations by the shelter or they can mail the donations.

“It’s been pretty nice. We’re handling things as they come, and hopefully we can figure out things like future fundraisers and stuff,” Hemphill said. “Like I said, we were really hoping to do our [PAHS-a-Palooza] but I don’t think that’s going to happen now, so we’ll see how everything kind of plays out.”

The first PAHS-a-Palooza event was held last year and included things like carnival games, adult raffle prizes, dog biscuit decorations, food, and a bounce house. People were allowed to bring their dogs to the event and attend training classes and shows, put on by animal trainers.

Hemphill said the first year for PAHS-a-Palooza went well, and they were planning to host an even bigger and better version of the event this year but with coronavirus restrictions, the plans are uncertain.

At this point in time, Hemphill said she has set the date for August 15 since quarantine could be coming to an end by then, but since none of the event planners have been able to really get together to organize details, make the games, and line-up the sponsors, it is not clear whether or not there will be enough time for planning.

“I think that’s where my problem is right now,” Hemphill said. “I just don’t think we’ll have enough time once everything is lifted to get it like, appropriately set-up with everything.”

PAHS is located at 10233 Bluestem Blvd, Pratt, Kansas. Call (620) 672-6777 for an appointment to make donations or get more information about animals available for adoption.