I’ve often thought about volunteering my time at the Lockhart Animal Shelter, where many of the unwanted or stray animals of Lockhart, Texas, and Caldwell County end up. But it wasn’t until my teenage stepson needed to put in some community service hours for his junior high honor society that I finally did it.
One Sunday afternoon in December 2006, my son and I headed out to the Lockhart Animal Shelter on Old McMahan Road just off Highway 20 East. There we met Sandy, a Lockhart Animal Shelter employee, who said that while the cleaning and feeding were done for the day, we were welcome to pet, walk and give some needed attention to the dogs and cats.
According to the City of Lockhart’s Web site, the Lockhart Animal Shelter houses up to 70 dogs and 30 cats, with an average of 180 animals passing through the shelter each month. We found quite a few dogs there, mostly larger breeds, and there were several litters of puppies. In the “cat cottage,” we met some beautiful adult cats with amazing green eyes and some extremely playful kittens. They were all happy to see us, dogs wagging their tails and cats purring loudly while we petted them and wished they would be adopted soon.
Unfortunately, adoptions from the Lockhart Animal Shelter aren’t as frequent as shelter staff would like. On average, about half of the dogs and puppies that come to the shelter are adopted; 30 percent of the cats and kittens find homes. The number of adoptions fluctuates with the seasons. “There are slower times of the year with animal adoptions,” says Cheryl Schneider, Lockhart Manager of Animal Services. “Winter time is slow generally due to the weather and busy holidays.”
The Lockhart Animal Shelter takes advantage of every opportunity to get the animals adopted by participating in adoption fairs at pet stores and posting information about the pets online at Petfinder.com. However, it’s often shelter staff members who form bonds with the animals and take them home on a foster or permanent basis. But they can’t possibly take them all. The ones that are too ill or violent are euthanized, and if the Lockhart Animal Shelter runs out of room, they have to put others to sleep as well. That is a last resort, however. Schneider says that the Lockhart Animal Shelter actually euthanizes animals less often than most other public shelters.
Adopt a Pet from the Lockhart Animal Shelter
If you’re interested in helping the Lockhart Animal Shelter, the best way is to adopt a dog or cat, puppy or kitten. Meet the animals online at Petfinder.com, or come out to Lockhart and see them in person. It’s just a short drive (33 miles) on Highway 183 South from Austin, Texas, and the barbecue here is great, so why not make a day of it? Just be sure to visit the Lockhart Animal Shelter between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to meet all of the animals and choose a new friend to take home with you.
The adoption fee at the Lockhart Animal Shelter is only $20 for cats and $25 for dogs. The only other upfront cost is a spay/neuter voucher. You’ll have to sign an adoption agreement, as you would at any other shelter. By doing so, you are agreeing to provide basic care for your new pet (food, water, shelter, veterinary care and love), have your adopted pet vaccinated for rabies as required by Texas law, and get the animal spayed or neutered within 30 days of the adoption date or the date designated by the Lockhart Animal Shelter.
Volunteer Your Time to the Lockhart Animal Shelter
If you’re like me and already have your share of pets at home, you can help the Lockhart Animal Shelter by giving the animals a little of your time. The shelter is open seven days a week from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The Lockhart Animal Shelter staff likes to have the facility cleaned and the animals fed by 11 a.m., when adoption hours begin, so if you want to help with the daily chores, it’s best to arrive early.
My son and I spent one morning cleaning the cat cottage. This entailed replacing the kitties’ bedding and litter; giving them fresh food and water; and cleaning their cages and the rest of the building (mainly sweeping and mopping). The dogs are in outdoor pens, and the clean-up work for them involves power washing their runs and replacing their food and water with fresh supplies. Supplying a few pets and kind words as you work is nice, too.
Or, you can always just visit the Lockhart Animal Shelter to give the animals scratches behind the ears, treats to chew on, or free time in the adoption pen, where they can stretch their legs a little. Dogs and cats live for the attention of humans, so you’ll feel good that you were able to make their day with a simple visit.
Donate to Cause for Paws
If you don’t have time to volunteer at the Lockhart Animal Shelter, you can donate much-needed money or supplies. The shelter is funded by the City of Lockhart and Caldwell County. A nonprofit organization called Cause for Paws raises funds to purchase items not included in the budget.
In addition to cash donations, which are always needed, supplies such as dog and cat food, toys and treats, collars and leashes, doghouses and bedding are always welcome. The bedding doesn’t have to be new; old blankets, towels and rugs in good condition make cozy nests for the cats and dogs at the Lockhart Animal Shelter.
Send donations to: Lockhart Cause for Paws, Inc., 214 Bufkin Ln., Lockhart, TX 78644. For more information on Cause for Paws or the Lockhart Animal Shelter, contact Cheryl Schneider at (512) 398-7320 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also e-mail the Lockhart Animal Shelter at email@example.com. See the Resources box below for additional links.
Other articles on Lockhart by this writer include:
Top Barbecue Restaurants in Lockhart, Texas
Top Mexican Food Restaurants in Lockhart, Texas
The Landmarks of Lockhart, Texas
Lockhart, Texas, Christmas Events
Ryan Phillipe Movie Filmed in Lockhart, Texas