Animal shelter intakes up 50 percent in Riverton; increase may be linked to COVID-19

(Riverton, WY) – Riverton’s animal shelter took in almost 1,000 dogs and cats last year – an increase of more than 300 animals compared to 2020.

“And we’re actually on par to probably do that again,” Paws for Life manager Gina Gladman told the Riverton City Council during a work session last week.

The shelter has already accepted more than 300 animals so far in 2022, Gladman said, guessing that the recent increase in intakes might be linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced Paws to temporarily cancel its free spay and neuter clinics.

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The next clinic is scheduled to take place beginning at 8:30 a.m. May 6-7 at Arapaho School, 445 Little Wind River Bottom Road.

Transfer van

The local community simply “cannot support,” through adoption alone, the high number of cats and dogs that come into the shelter each year, Gladman said.

“There’s just not enough homes,” she explained. “So we transfer out to different shelters and rescues.”

Paws has already transferred 70 animals out of the county this year, Gladman said, often using a high-profile Ford E-350 van that is “older” and needs to be replaced with a smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicle with all-wheel drive.

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The shelter will be raising money this year to buy a new van – and cover increased costs for fuel, food and veterinary services, Gladman said, mentioning a cornhole tournament and dinner fundraiser that has already been planned for May 14 at St. Margaret’s Gym.

Gladman also asked for $50,000 through the city’s community service funding process this year – up from $45,000 granted last year.

The city council will consider the request during a future meeting.

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For more information about the animal shelter visit the Paws website or Facebook page, or call 857-6002.

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