Bulverde Humane Society has new leash on life

Animal adoption services offered

By Richard Zowie

Times Guardian Staff Writer

When driving to the Bulverde Humane Society one might find it hard to believe the animal shelter is actually very close to Highway 281, a road that runs through San Antonio and goes from McAllen all the way up to Wichita Falls.

Once you turn onto Wiley Road and go left on the winding caliche road (aptly named "Kingsnake"), you come across a place that looks as though it might be located in the vacant confines of West Texas.

The Bulverde Area Humane Society is a set of several buildings and various kennels nestled in a wooded area. As you approach, off to the right you can see mountainous hills in the distance across an open clearing. If you listen carefully, you can hear roosters crowing from an adjoining property. You can also see chickens on that property walking around.

At the shelter, peacocks freely walk around, cawing loudly but ostensibly suspicious of other animals or any humans who approach too close.

"The peacocks decided that they like us, and they come over and visit every day," explains Lynda Binkley, secretary of the Bulverde Humane Society Board of Directors.

Anyone going to the shelter might be disappointed to learn that the peacocks and chickens aren't eligible for adoption. The shelter does currently have, though, about 42 dogs and 19 cats of various breeds and mixes that are looking for new homes. The number frequently changes, though.

The shelter came under new management last November, with Barbara Hall now serving as the shelter's president of the Board. Since then, they've been working on some improvement projects. Since the shelter at the time was over capacity, they worked to get surplus animals adopted out. This involved making sure all the animals are updated on all their shots and medications, getting them spaded or neutered and making monthly visits to PetSmart or Mummee's to adopt out animals to free up additional space.

"Our main goal is to adopt out a few more dogs to free up some more kennels," said Binkley. "We'd like to renovate the kennels and start taking in a lot of animals found by either the city or from community people."

The shelter currently has a 24-stall kennel that can hold up to 48 dogs, along with fenced in kennels along the sides that someday would serve as exercise areas for the dogs. For the cats, the shelter has what appears to be the skeletal frame of a building enclosed with chain-link fence. The cat area is connected to an enclosed building where the felines can eat and use litter boxes.

Binkley hopes to eventually replace the chain-link top of the cats' area with a metallic, see-through roof to allow sunlight to get in but keep the rain out. She'd also like to put in flooring, which she feels will make it easier to keep the place clean.

Currently, the shelter (also known as the Dolores L. Caldwell Shelter) doesn't have a place to house kittens or puppies. The board members have been housing the babies at their homes. They are hoping to either build a facility exclusively for the younger animals or renovate a rock house on the property for that purpose.

Other possible upcoming renovations include insulating buildings, paintwork, Continued on p. 2

building another facility for the dogs and making renovations to the cat cage.

Anyone interested in adopting an animal (or making a donation) can do so by calling either (830) 980-2247 or (830) 438-PETS (7387). The shelter, located at 3563 Kingsnake, is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and usually has someone there on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in the mornings the entire week.

"People can call and get an appointment anytime they want," Binkley said.

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