01 May Service Trip 2023: Day 3 Carlisle
Carlisle Animal Shelter
By: Traci Finkel
On the Sunday of our service trip, a group of us spent some time at the Carlisle Shelter in Carlisle, Arkansas. This was one of the smallest shelters we visited with only 7 outdoor kennels and no building. The kennels are under an overhang with a fence around it, and that’s it. The location is next to a water treatment plant and gives meaning to “dogs are last on the list around here”, which is what we hear a lot.
We started by getting to know the dogs. There was a very scared brindle dog, a couple shepherds, a very sweet white and black pit bull, and a small black puppy. I was happy to see two southern fosters each pulled a dog to bring home, one of the shepherds and the puppy. Two kennels now empty, 5 to go. Several volunteers started walking and bathing the dogs, a few other people started putting a new dog house together for a kennel that didn’t have one. I worked together with two other volunteers to build a shed. The shelter didn’t currently have any storage so they were using one of the kennels. We were happy to spend the day building something that would provide them with more storage options since there are so many things they need to keep safe, especially since they do not have a building.
Halfway through the day a family came by to surrender a litter of 5 puppies. They were very cute, one was blonde with one blue eye, the others were brown and black. They were put into a kennel which meant 6 were now full. We were so excited to get two dogs out that morning, it can feel exhausting and sad to watch more come in the same day. Luckily we were all there to bathe, hold, and love on them for several hours.
We spent the majority of the day working alongside Lissa, who is the shelter lead. She comes by nearly every day and is the main caretaker for the shelter. She devotes so much of her time to the dogs, I am so glad we were able to help her out even a little bit today. At the end of day I was holding one of those puppies and another volunteer looked into those dog’s eyes and said “you are going to be okay, Lissa will take care of you”. And in that moment I knew that nothing could be more true, while these dogs are in Lissa’s care they will feel nothing but love.