Rum­mage sale raises money for UCAPS

Means: ‘We were run­ning low on funds’

El Dorado News-Times - - Front Page - By Brit­tany Wil­liams Staff Writer

The Union County An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety (UCAPS) held a rum­mage sale yes­ter­day to raise money for its gen­eral op­er­a­tion fund.

The event was UCAPS’ first crack at a fundraiser of this sort and was “thrown to­gether” in a cou­ple months. The idea was given to the or­ga­ni­za­tion by some­one in the com­mu­nity, said Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Mike Means.

“(Pro­ceeds) could go to a mil­lion things, gen­er­ally, that we need, any­thing from med­i­cal ex­penses for the an­i­mals to build­ing re­pairs and stuff like that. It’s not des­ig­nated for any­thing specif­i­cally … We were run­ning low on funds so we thought it would be a good fundraiser for the shel­ter,” he said.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers brought items rang­ing from kitchen­ware and fur­ni­ture to ride-on toys and cloth­ing. UCAPS stocked the old El Do­rado High School cafe­te­ria un­til Fri­day even­ing.

It costs about $220,000 to op­er­ate the “sec­ond chance” shel­ter and about 4.5 per­cent of its op­er­a­tion fund comes from the county. The other $210,000 comes from com­mu­nity do­na­tions, adop­tion fees and fundrais­ing ef­forts, said Pres­i­dent San­dra Maguire.

“We get no money from the city, no money from any of the cities in the county or any­thing like that,” Maguire said. “Our em­ploy­ees are paid min­i­mum wage, which is a tes­ta­ment to their com­mit­ment to the an­i­mals. They work their fan­nies off. We can’t pay over­time or any­thing like that — no ben­e­fits.”

UCAPS also hosts spay and neuter clin­ics through­out the year, which cost up­wards of $5,000, Maguire said. As­sis­tant Man­ager Ash­ley Bear­den said that be­fore noon over 25 an­i­mals were signed up for treat­ment.

“I un­der­stand some peo­ple let their dogs run loose in the county, but they still have to have that ra­bies tag from the vet. That’s a state law, so we’re re­quired by state law to do that for ev­ery an­i­mal,” Maguire said. “State law also says (that) ev­ery res­cue, shel­ter, city pound, any or­ga­ni­za­tion like that is re­quired to spay and neuter be­fore the an­i­mal leaves the shel­ter.”

UCAPS op­er­ates as a “no-kill” shel­ter, com­mit­ted to get­ting an­i­mals paired with an owner. Means said an­i­mals housed at the shel­ter “have no ex­pi­ra­tion date.”

Maguire said the shel­ter goes through about 4,000 pounds of dog food per month. The South Arkansas Pantry Fillers re­cently do­nated over 3,700 to UCAPS, said Man­ager Tanja Jack­son.

UCAPS will have a fundraiser event, sim­i­lar to an Adop­tion Day, next month at PetSense, Maguire said.

“We’ll have a dunk­ing booth. A lo­cal ar­ti­san unit is do­ing paint­ings, paw prints and the rocks. Of course, peo­ple can come into PetSense and buy a bag of dog food they’ll do­nate to us … If we don’t have to buy it, that’s nice.”

Ac­cord­ing to the store’s Face­book page, its Adopta-thon will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7. PetSense is sell­ing $1 raf­fle tick­ets and all pro­ceeds will go to UCAPS.

Pho­tos by Brit­tany Wil­liams

Sale: Shop­pers rum­mage through items dur­ing a sale ben­e­fit­ting the Union County An­i­mal Pro­tec­tion So­ci­ety (UCAPS).

Test­ing: UCAPS man­ager Tanja Jack­son tests out a stand mixer dur­ing a rum­mage sale fundraiser Satur­day.

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