Monday, November 6, 2017

A Long Time In The Making

If animals could collect miles for their shelter stays, Dyno would have qualified as a frequent flyer. 

At not even two years old, this beautiful red-bone coonhound boy stayed with us three times--the first time in April of 2016 as a stray. 

Dyno's adoption website photo
 Dyno quickly found a home, but was returned to the shelter not even a month later, because the landlord of his new family wouldn't allow him to stay. Fortunately, Dyno didn't have to wait long before being adopted. We didn't see him again for almost a year--he was returned in April 2017, because is family was moving. This time, however, nobody was interested in adopting Dyno.

May came and went without a new home in sight. Friendly and housetrained Dyno was featured as Pet of the Week several times, but many more months passed by and he was still at the shelter. 
Dyno with James at the shelter

On the way home
Finally, in September, Dyno's luck took a turn when the Sullivant family came to the shelter to visit. James, the son of the family, has Asperger's Syndrome and used to be terrified of dogs, but overcame that fear. He is also bothered by loud noises, but braved the cacophony of barking dogs and walked into the kennel area where he saw Dyno and fell in love with him. There was an instant connection between the two--Dyno didn't get up from his bed until James came in. When James saw that Dyno was afraid of thunder, he said they were perfect for each other! 

The dog that nobody had wanted for so long was just waiting for the right family to come and take him home! 

Dyno walked right into the Sullivant's lives as if he'd always belonged there, bringing even more love into their home. He senses when one of the family members is having a bad day and is there to comfort them. James, in turn, comforts Dyno during thunderstorms and fireworks. Dyno is a playmate, companion, alarm clock, greeter and even comedian, but best of all he is at home with a family who loves him!

Some things are just meant to be. 

James, Jadyn and Dyno at home

Jadyn and Dyno

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Don't Want to be on the CCHS Board of Directors? Neither Did I!

 Not “no”, but “no way”—that was my answer when I was asked to be on the board of the Cowley County Humane Society. Sure, I always was a supporter of the shelter, but that was restricted to giving monetary donations and attending events. Because of my interest in the shelter, I was on the radar of the board and I guess I looked like a good candidate to them.
I had excellent reasons NOT to be on the board—no time, don’t want to see all those sad animal faces at the shelter, don’t know anyone I could hit up for fundraisers, and a million others. I finally agreed to meet with the board president to receive more information, but I stated right then and there that I couldn’t possibly be on the board. At the end of that meeting, I agreed to be on the board.

Turns out, I wouldn’t have to become a serial adopter, because I never even had to interact with any shelter animals if I didn’t want to. I also wasn’t expected to single-handedly save the world. I was told, however, that being a board member was a lot of work and took some dedication, because it is the board that plans and executes all fundraisers for CCHS. Many board members also take on additional tasks, like being foster parents, writing the newsletter, volunteering at the shelter, finding sponsors and members, etc. After asking myself if this was the cause I wanted to spend my time on and if I wanted to make a difference, the answer had to be “YES”.

During my numerous years of being involved with the CCHS Board, I not only gave a lot, but have also learned so much and have done things I never thought I would be capable of! Being on the board has brought out hidden talents and pushed me into realms I was formerly uncomfortable with. I never thought I could be a public speaker, now I give presentations. I never thought I could write, now I write articles for the newspaper and have published the shelter newsletter for several years. I never thought I could become computer-savvy, now I make flyers, am the Facebook administrator for the shelter’s Facebook page, make videos, PowerPoint presentations, manage Google Documents and much more. I never thought I could be a leader, and now have been board president 3 years.  I have met and become friends with people who would otherwise never have crossed my path, who have expanded my horizon and inspired me to become a better person.

We are in need of new board members who are willing to contribute their time and talents towards making a difference in thousands of animal and human lives each year. If you are that person, please contact us by messaging us on Facebook or emailing and I will get in touch with you!

Alice Shaffer
CCHS Board President and PR & Media Chair

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Everything happens for a reason — or so it seems in the life of Mowgli, a 1-year-old Mastiff mix.
She managed to get loose one day and scratched a neighbor of her previous owner.
Mowgli was called in as a stray, and the Arkansas City Police Department’s animal control officer picked her up and brought her to the Cowley County Humane Society (CCHS).
Because she had scratched the neighbor, Mowgli had to be quarantined and monitored in case of rabies.
Meanwhile, Jeanna Retana’s children had been asking for a dog for a while.
“They wanted a bigger dog that they could play with,” Retana said. “I had seen Mowgli on the Cowley County Buy, Sell, Trade (Facebook) site, where they were wanting to find a home for her.”
“I’m a single mom with three kids,” Retana added. “I wanted to make sure the dog was good with kids.”
But Mowgli’s previous owner had children, as well, and she told Retana that Mowgli was great with kids, as well as housebroken.
“Those were two major pluses for me,” Retana said. “Because I don’t have a lot of time.”
Mowgli’s previous owner was able to produce paperwork proving that she had been vaccinated for rabies, and the neighbor who had been scratched signed a waiver that allowed the owner and CCHS to re-home Mowgli, with ACPD’s approval, which the police gladly gave.
“They (CCHS) were very helpful,” Retana said. “They were quick to respond and were very friendly. I chatted back and forth for quite a bit, and they were very helpful.”
Mowgli is now in her fur-ever home and loving it!
“She is absolutely fantastic,” Retana said. “She is really great with my kids. They lie on her like a big pillow and she is just a big Teddy bear.”
While Retana initially was worried about Mowgli being so big, that has changed completely.
“She has been the best dog I’ve ever had,” Retana said. “She lies at the foot of the kids’ bed at night. I couldn’t ask for anything better in a dog.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

Paws Gone Wild 2017 A Success!

Last Saturday's Paws Gone Wild wine tasting and auction event generated over $16,000 for the shelter! A HUGE thank you to all volunteers, donors, and guests who made this annual event such a success! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year--hope to see you next year!
Photos courtesy of Danny Gilbreath.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

From The Streets To The Service

When Carter was dropped off at Cowley County Humane Society by Arkansas City's Animal Control Officer, no one had any idea that in just a couple of years he would be a certified service dog helping a U.S. Navy veteran.

Dean Woodson adopted Carter in September 2014.

Woodson is an 18-year Navy veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suffered from nightmares and balance issues.

Carter was at the Humane Society for a little over two months before Woodson found him.
After being adopted, Carter underwent approximately a year and a half of training to become a service dog.

Carter was trained by Midwest Battle Buddies Inc., a nonprofit organization created to help veterans to receive certified dogs.

He now is able to sense if Woodson is suffering from a nightmare and wake him up, increasing the quality of rest that his owner receives.
“Carter keys off my endorphins and calms me down when he senses me getting upset,” Woodson said. “He's changed my life.”

With Carter’s help, Woodson has traveled to Arizona, California, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas.

In the future, Woodson plans presentations with Carter at schools, to educate children on the roles of service dogs and how to behave when they meet one.

Midwest Battle Buddies
Midwest Battle Buddies, Inc. is a nonprofit that was co-founded by Chip Neumann and Toney Turner to train service dogs for veterans — at little to no cost to the veteran.
More than 66,000 veterans in the Wichita area suffer from PTSD and nearly half have applied for a service dog. There is a two-year waiting list and many veterans are sent out of state to receive a trained service dog.
“Service dogs are proven to lower stress, anxiety and the need for medications. Statistics show that every 63 minutes, a veteran suffering from PTSD commits suicide,” states the Midwest Battle Buddies website.
“That’s 22 veterans and one active military person every day. (But) there are no known suicides of any veteran who owns a service dog.”

Turner has trained dogs for 20 years and opened Complete K9 in 2009.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Beating the Odds

Some things are just meant to be and according to the Bohannons, one of those things was Milano coming into their home.

Life isn't easy for orphaned kittens -- veterinarians report mortality rates of anywhere from 15 to 40 percent for kittens up to 12 weeks.

Milano, now known as Miley, was found abandoned between Udall and Oxford on Cowley 3 and brought to the Cowley County Humane Society (CCHS). She was only 2 weeks old.

Unlike some shelters that euthanize kittens younger than a certain age, CCHS does everything it can to keep kittens alive, even using foster homes to help to provide extended care to the fragile kittens.

After two days, Miley was placed in the caring foster home of Diana Russell, who took care of Miley while she waited for her "furever" home.

Meanwhile, Ryan Bohannon was looking for the perfect kitten for his fiancée, Ashli.

"My fiancée told me that she wanted a female, black and white shorthair cat for her birthday," Bohannon said.

"I made several posts looking for this specific kind of cat, and CCHS sent me a message and a picture of Milano, who is now named Miley, and I instantly knew Ashli would fall in love with her.

"When I got to meet Miley for the first time and see her personality, she was definitely the cat Ashli has been wanting!"
Bohannon said he had a wonderful experience with CCHS and Russell made the process go smoothly.

"It was a really awesome experience, and thanks to Diana Russell for meeting us so we both could meet Miley and making sure she was healthy enough to come home to us," Bohannon said.

"And for making sure all the shots were taken care of. She was awesome to deal with and made the experience great!"

Since finding her "furever" home, Miley has changed their lives.

"She has brought great joy to both of us. She's very loving, but very playful," Bohannon said. "She greets us at the door when we come home and has to follow us to bed, and snuggles in bed and seems to follow us wherever we go around the house."

"She is our parrot cat. Since the day we got her, she absolutely loves to sit and lay on our shoulders even when we are walking through the house. She will even climb our legs to get on our shoulders," Bohannon said.

"When we go shower, she has to be in the bathroom and right by the shower curtain so she can peek her head around to see us, like we might have disappeared or something. If she can't get in the bathroom while we are in there, she does this, like, death cry meow until she's let in."

Miley is making the most of her time with her family, running around the house playing and teasing the Bohannons' three Chihuahuas.

"Her favorite to tease is Evie," Bohannon said.

When asked if he would recommend CCHS to others, Bohannon answered: "MOST DEFINITELY!"

Monday, January 30, 2017

Exciting Upcoming Events!

Lots of opportunities to have fun while helping the homeless animals of Cowley County are coming up! Looking for something to give your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Look no further! We have our Valentail’s Cookies and Hearts package just in time for Valentine’s Day. For a $12 donation you receive ½ dozen cookies (several flavors to choose from), a balloon, a thank-you note from a shelter animal, and free delivery within 10 miles of the shelter, 8-2. Pickup at the shelter is also possible, 4-5. We even have a dog package in case your Valentine happens to have paws! Order deadline is Feb 10th. Please note that delivery to Ark City schools is not possible.

If you need a gift to go with our Valentail’s package or just plain like country music, we also have you covered! Get your ticket to the Wichita Wingnuts Annual Community Benefit Concert on Apr 22nd with a $40 donation. This year’s outdoor concert event at Lawrence Dumont Stadium headliners are country music stars Billy Currington and Chris Janson! Local artists include Adam Capps and 2 more bands TBA. This outdoor concert is a unique family friendly experience you won't want to miss!

April is also time for our biggest fundraiser of the year—the Annual Tasting and Benefit Auction! Over 200 of our friends and supporters will come together on Apr 8th at Baden Square in Winfield to enjoy a wine tasting, activities, raffle, silent and live auctions and finger foods at the Paws Gone Wild event. This is a sell-out event and always a lot of fun, so get your tickets early! Tickets are $25 each and include 10 courses of wine, cocktail, beer, water and finger foods.

Check out event details and order on our website or message us on Facebook!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bella Blue Completes Family

The Johnson family had been a two-dog family for several years, until one of their dogs passed away.
Bella Blue at the Shelter

“One of our dogs passed away about a year and a half ago, leaving us with our 5-year-old ’coon hound mix, Hunter,” said Sandy Johnson. “He seemed to be doing pretty well as an ’only child’ at first, but gradually became less active and didn’t seem as interested in hanging around with my husband and me.
“We started thinking about looking for a companion, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we weren’t able to do that until this past fall.”

Though Hunter is a large dog – about 80 pounds – he’s scared of small dogs and does better with females. So the Johnson family began looking for a medium- to large-breed dog.
“We also knew we wanted a dog that was younger than Hunter, but not a puppy,” Sandy said.
“I started looking at the humane society in Wichita and also various rescue groups in the Wichita vicinity, but wasn’t finding just the right one for us and for Hunter. It finally occurred to me to look at humane societies outside of Sedgwick County.”

The first website Sandy looked at was the Cowley County Humane Society website.
“There was this adorable Bella Blue that I kept going back to. Although I knew nothing about her at the time, I just felt like I needed to meet her,” she said. “As luck would have it, a friend of mine has a friend, Dovie, who volunteers for CCHS and contacted her.”

The CCHS adoption crew brought Bella to an adoption event the following weekend at PetSmart.
“My husband was ready to adopt her the minute he saw her. We adopted her that morning and immediately started spoiling her, and Hunter, with new beds and toys,” Sandy said.
“Hunter was so excited when he saw her. They immediately started running and playing, and they haven’t stopped. She follows her big brother almost everywhere, and if she’s not by his side, he comes to get her if there’s something important going on.”
Once a week, Bella and Hunter go to a doggy day care.
“She is so exhausted that she’s asleep in the car within two blocks of leaving,” Sandy said.

Bella Blue With Her New Family

Other than helping herself to a few Christmas tree ornaments, there hasn’t been any unexpected young dog “bad” behavior from Bella.
“Some of the things she has helped herself to have been our fault for not putting out of reach,” Sandy said. “She seems to learn pretty quickly and she tends to follow Hunter’s lead on a lot of things – although he’s been known to get them into some trouble.”

When asked how life has changed since adopting Bella, Sandy said, “Our life is back to normal. The house is a racetrack again for two dogs to chase each other, there are dog toys all over again, and Hunter is so much more active and happy.