PITTSBURG—Pawprints on the Heartland and SEK Animal Advocates are joining forces to give dogs in area dog pounds and other homeless dogs a "new lease on life," in Crawford County.

Pawprints’ goal is to address animal overpopulation by spaying and neutering at a reduced cost. Since its origin in 2000, the organization has performed over 85,000 surgeries, many of those for strays and feral cats.

Now, Pawprints is stepping up to assist SEK Animal Advocates with the spaying and neutering of dogs. While Animal Advocates has been active for a couple of years, it only attained 501(c)3 nonprofit status this year. It has been working more closely with Pawprints, also a 501(c)3, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic impact of which has led many pet owners to give up their dogs, according to Bette Lessen, a volunteer with the group.

Animal Advocates’ mission is to rescue dogs and keep them from being euthanized. The dogs are then spayed or neutered, given needed vaccinations, heartworm tested, flea and tick control treated, and wormed in order to prepare them to be sent to a rescue. A network of drivers then transports the dogs to rescues where they will get new homes throughout Kansas, and to other states including Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Minnesota, and even to Canada.

To date in 2020, Animal Advocates has saved the lives of approximately 185 homeless dogs. Both organizations depend heavily on donations to prepare these dogs for rescue. Average cost of services per dog is approximately $100 to $120. Donations can be sent to: Pawprints on the Heartland, P.O. Box 644, Pittsburg, KS 66762 ATTN: RESCUE

For more information, contact Mary Kay Caldwell, Pawprints on the Heartland president, at futuresmkc@cox.net or 620-249-7669, or Leann Moore, SEK Animal Advocates vice president, at 620-719-9639.