Thursday, May 5, 2016: Pet adoption center celebrates grand opening

Pet adoption center celebrates grand opening

Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2016 7:50 pm

EDINBURG — The Valley became a little more animal friendly with the grand opening of the Laurie P. Andrews PAWS Center on Thursday morning.

The pet adoption and wellness services center is a no-kill shelter and an expansion of the Palm Valley Animal Center, which mainly serves to provide medical attention to animals.

“We needed something that the public could come to and get engaged in, and we knew also that we would have to focus on education,” said Executive Director Tim Ousley. “We didn’t have the facility to do that; now we do.”

The idea for the facility had been brewing for three and a half years as the board of directors was considering whether to remodel the Palm Valley Animal Center or to add on to it.

Located next to IDEA Edinburg and the Boys & Girls Club along U.S. Expressway 281, the center aims to be a place where children can learn about the humane care of animals, how to properly feed them, and about spaying and neutering.

The center will also have a public access dog park that will be open once the grass has grown.

Before they reach PAWS, the animals go through PVAC, where they are blood-tested and vaccinated, according to Kevin Guajardo, healthcare technician. Afterward, they are moved to the PAWS center where they are examined again and are spayed and neutered.

The center currently houses about 100 cats and dogs and has had about 140 adoptions since April.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the animals needs to fill out an application.

“We’re basically making sure that you provide food, shelter, water for them and just that you’ll give them a loving home,” said Jacki Philipus, an adoption specialist.

Philipus said when it comes to cats, they try to educate people against declawing.

However, the adoption specialists also look at a person’s lifestyle to determine a good match.

“If they like jogging, running and stuff, we set them up with a bigger dog that we know is strong and active,” said Lillian McComsey, another adoption specialist. “We just try to get the best fit.”

The price of adopting an adult cat is $100 while kittens cost $120. Puppies are slightly more at $160 while adult dogs are $140. The center also has an area for rabbits, guinea pigs, turtles, birds and other exotic pets.

Ousley said they still hope to have a new building for PVAC in the coming years.

“We need to rebuild PVAC from the ground up,” Ousley said as he addressed the public. “So you’re going to be hearing us ask the cities and the counties for money,” he joked.


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