PITTSBURG — A total of 13 shelter dogs and cats now have a new home.

Southeast Kansas Humane Society had its annual Adopt-a-thon this past weekend, where dogs and cats were up for adoption at a lower price on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the dogs even went home with their own little dog house constructed and painted by Lakeside Elementary fifth grade students.

Each of the adoptable dogs and cats were all sponsored by a local business, organization or individual. Each cat or dog had a picture and information shared in the “The Morning Sun” which allowed people see their potential new pet before going out to the adopt-a-thon.

“It puts a face with a name and they know exactly who to look for and meet,” Business and Promotions Manager Jasmine Kyle said.

Since then, Shelter Manager Shamber Hubbard said, people have called and asked if a certain cat or dog is still available.  

“It’s been fantastic, the outreach this community does for this organization is fantastic … it’s [community involvement] a big part of this organization because we are run on donations and grants,” Kyle said.

Along with the adopt-a-thon the shelter also hosted a ribbon cutting and grand opening for its new dog building which kennels for 10 dogs. The building is climate controlled and each kennel has an outdoor running space.

“It’s been nice to have all the dogs in the inside,” Hubbard said. “It’s cooled and its heated so we don't have to worry about that and it’s nice to be able to keep it clean while they are outside.”

The shelter also celebrated its 45th anniversary. It has grown from a small office building with a room for cats and eight dog runs to a facility which has 18 kennels, a 10-run dog building, a room for puppies and another room for cats. In addition to the shelter, there is an office building for spay and neutering, Pawprints on the Heartland, sits on the property and the shelter operates its own resale shop, The Doggie Bag, which has helped fund the SEK Humane Society since 1987.

Kyle said there is more to come in the future. Currently, an electronic gate and a fence which will surround the entire property is under construction.

More exercise pens and a mini park is also in the works.

“People can take dog out one on one and enjoy their visit here,” Kyle said, including the dog-walking trail which loops around the main building.

Kyle said she hopes to implement a Junior Humane Society in the near future to help educate children on taking care of shelter animals.

The newly renovated cat room was included in the grand opening.

Kyle said they made changes to the cat room which will keep the shelter up to do date with the other shelters, for example non-carpeted floors and special textured paint which allows older cats to climb up steep ramps to shelves.

The shelter also celebrated the completion of a drain which stops rain water from puddling at the entrance and causing a wet mess in the lobby.

SEK Humane Society also thanked Eagle Scout Zachary Troth for selecting the SEK Humane Society cemetery for his scout project. Zachary and his helpers, put new rocks and stones in the path through the cemetery.

“He did a really good job, it looks great,” Hubbard said. “We posted on our Facebook page about it and many people were thankful about it because we do have many of their beloved pets buried there, they are thrilled somebody upgraded that.”  

Hubbard said many people do not know the cemetery is not just for the dogs and cats at the humane society. It is also for the people who live in town who cannot bury their pet.

Hubbard said there are still many adoptable animals left. After visiting with the cats and dogs of their choice and they find the pet that is right for them, people can fill out an application and take their new pet home the same day, Hubbard said. Dogs cost $60 and cats cost $40 for cats. There are cat specials based on fur color and black dogs over six months old are $40. The shelter is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

SEK Humane Society introduces new staff member

The Southeast Kansas Humane Society is introducing a new staff member, Jasmine Kyle. Kyle serves as the business and promotions manager.  

Kyle graduated from Coffeyville Community College and then attended Pittsburg State University where she discovered she wanted to help the community and manage events.

Previous to working at the shelter she worked for the City of Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department where she managed and created programs and provided customer service.

In the past she has also served as a foster for shelter animals.

“Her professional experience, education, familiarity with the latest technology and organizational skills make her an outstanding addition to the Humane Society staff,” a release said. “We look forward to the many positive contributions she will be able to make using her many skills, positive ‘can do’ attitude, and dedication to SEK Humane Society‘s mission.”

When she comes home from working at the shelter, Kyle is greeted by her own three cats which were all adopted from the SEK Humane Society.

Kyle said her month at the shelter so far has been great and she praised the teamwork of staff.

“There are a mazing employees, the best staff  … these type of people working here show how to be part of a team,” Kyle said.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.