Golden Paw Pet Rescue sees increase in stray dogs and reaches capacity


Joplin’s Golden Paw Pet Rescue is at capacity due to an increased number of abandoned pets.

The shelter is filled with over a hundred dogs and more than double its regular number of cats with more strays showing up at the door each day.

Leonard Whiting spends his free time getting to know the cats at Golden Paw Pet Rescue, and there are many, many abandoned.

“When I heard about all that cats go through, it made me want to do something and help out,” Whiting said.

Whiting has been volunteering here since 2016, but in recent months he and Golden Paw staff have seen a marked increase in the number of strays.

“We have about 30 cats and 130 dogs, and more are needed every day. We have to refuse a lot of people for lack of space,” explains Alexis Prodo from Golden Paw.

With average running costs around $18,000 per month, donations are desperately needed.

“Right now, we don’t have a lot of volunteers. It’s mostly the staff who take care of everything, which is a huge expense,” Prodo said.

The non-profit, no-kill shelter is seeking donations of money, food, and cleaning supplies, all with the ultimate goal of finding forever homes for all of these pets.

“They need a home. They need children to play with. They need someone else to love over them. They need all the attention they can get,” said Patricia Beavers with Golden Paw.

Officials say spaying and neutering is the answer to get to the root of shelter overcrowding.

“There is no place here. There is no place for them anywhere. So people have to really think about it before deliberately breeding,” Prodo said.

Whiting also hopes more people will choose adoption.

“Rescue animals also need homes.”

Despite the overwhelming numbers, Golden Paw broke an adoption record.

So far this year, 745 animals have found permanent homes.

If you would like to donate time, money, or consider adopting a pet, you can find more information here.

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