Staff at Mid-Missouri's only "no-kill" animal shelter estimate that without the community's help, they may have to close their doors within three months.
On Saturday, Sonja Coons experienced firsthand the nature of Callaway Hills Animal Shelter when she saw two dogs wandering in the center of Highway 63.
"As we were driving along, we see these two dogs playing in the middle of the road, literally," Coons said. "They were in the median and getting ready to run into traffic. We figured that they would get hit any moment."
After two hours on the phone, there was only one animal shelter that would take in the two dogs. Coons made her way to the Callaway Hills Animal Shelter where staff provided the dogs with shelter, food, and water.
"It touches my heart," Coons said. "If those were my animals, I would want someone to take care of them."
Callaway Hills is a "no-kill" shelter. That means, staff take care of the dogs and cats who arrive there, as long as it takes to find them a home. The shelter never euthanizes the animals but some end up staying for years, which costs the shelter money.
The 30 year-old shelter lost its primary source of funding from the News-Tribune, several years ago when the newspaper was sold.
Staff member Kameha Underwood fears for its future. "We're still making it month to month, and that's due to the generous donations of people who have given us monetary donations and things of that nature. However, it's an expensive venture to help all these animals," Underwood said.
Underwood said some of those expenses include medical care for the animals, food, and cleaning supplies. Right now, Underwood said they are mostly in need of paper towels, cleaning supplies, and monetary donations to help with bills.
Sonja Coons said she thinks the expenses are well worth it. "We all have pets, whether it's a fish, a dog, or a cat," Coons said. "At the end of the day, those pets are better to us than some people, places, or things."
Places like this are invaluable, because they help keep that hope alive," Coons said.
Underwood estimates they could run out of funds in as soon as three months.
If you would like to make a contribution to the animal shelter or become a volunteer, they can be reached at 573-896-4049. Callaway Hills Animal Shelter is located at 2714 State Road TT, New Bloomfield, MO 65063.