Check out our You Tube and Face Book pages. Simply do a search for "Bollinger County Stray Project" on Google. See why we are different.
We don't just put out fires. We are truly dedicated to making a difference through education. One of our Fare Book sites has our weekly Stray Report, which is a feature in our county newspaper. Check us out. Share us with your friends. Help make a difference.
The Bollinger County Stray Project is Missouri Department of Agriculture licensed rescue (#2MP 181) located in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks. Just 4 miles, as the crow flies, the flat delta farmland turns into the rolling forest of the Ozarks. This nature-filled-adventure-land is heaven to hunting dogs and paradize to a regular pet, but it is a struggle for the average family to make a living.
We have been a high dump and abandon county, meaning a high percentage of strays lurk in our forests, pastures and farm house porches. Bollinger County is the second poorest county in our state. Wayne County, which harbors the west side, is the poorest county in the state. This paradise for a dog can quickly turn into a life and death situation for strays and dumped puppies and adult dogs.
The Director of the "Project" , Marilyn Neville, is a dog obedience instructor so she was by the nature of her calling, a person people cntacted to help find homes for strays and pets families no longer could afford to keep or wanted to re-home. She was not paid for the driving and ended up paying out of pocket to help several desperate dogs with vetting too, at least until it "got -out-of-hand" and the expenses were draining, not to mention the dogs she could not help because they needed isolation pens and time to heal.
She contacted the area veterinarians and three agreed to help her "HELP THE PEOPLE WHO HELP THE STRAYS" by offering discount vetting, including spays and neuters for all pets that she assisted in what she and they call "THE PROJECTS."
The Nevilles, after spending thousands of dollars, of their own money, have prepared their private property to care for up to 60 dogs and puppies.
Three other area families have agreed to volunteer their talents and time to make "The Projects" a community success by becoming board officers and help to form an organization that at this time is working towards incorporation and a 501 c-3 status. They are a local veterinarian- Dr. Colleen Retz, a retired school teacher- Sheila Teeters (whose husband worked with the conservation department), and a retired veterinarian technician-Jodi McCormick.
We work with three main veterinarians, each in a different county: Bollinger County - Dr. Jones and Dr. Retz, Cape County - Dr. Walter Branscum, and Scott County- Dr. Shively and Dr. Kistner. We also work with a veterinarian in Sikston- Dr. Williams and another vet in Cape County has given us discount vetting: Dr. Schabbing. Without their dedication and community support, we could not afford to continue our rescue efforts.
We are an all volunteer program. Generally the families who call about a stray or who want to relinquish a pet also agree to foster those animals until a home is found for them. These unselfish families are the reason we were able to save over 100 pets our first year, and over two hundred pets each year, during the last two years. We save countless other pets by contacting other rescues and families who can directly take animals in need.
The Project's Director, Neville and her husband, are retired dog breeders, having bred and placed a rare breed mastiff breed from Japan. They also did limited dog showing in conformation. Marilyn also taught dog obedience for over 13 years, using positive reinforcement techniques. She understands temperament and knows how to read an honest dog. She will not accept dogs with aggression concerns in the Projects and does a great job matching pets to the right family. This group had less than 5% adopted dogs return in 2010. One was due to a divorce. Two were because the puppies tried to tear up a greenhouse...
Donations are always needed and GREATLY appreciated. WE share with our fosters and other rescues if we are donated more of an item than we can use in a timely manner. We have a "team" spirit with our community, other rescues and even with our adopted families. We can use: our vet bills paid, bleach, old linins (towels, sheets, comforters, blankets, etc.), puppy food like Purina ProPlan or adult PERFORMANCE blend from Purina ProPlan. We save those special high dollar food for starved or stressed dogs that come into our Projects.
Physical volunteer help is always needed to keep our yard spiffy and "picked-up" (if you know what I mean...with 25 to 40 dogs loose at a time, we have plenty of poo to do...)
Our wish list includes: . donations for the SPAY FUND: we will pay a percentage of the spay for selected low income family dogs and cats as funds are available . a large live trap to capture stray dogs (are you creative with metal work?) . bleach, white distilled vinegar, Simple Green cleaner . Tide with Bleach clothes soap for the three to 6 loads of dog laundry a day . Old comforters, towels, sheets, and flannel sheets are especially appreciated by the dogs . stackable stainless steel dog bowls . donations for the three main Projects: Cape County, Scott County and the Bollinger County Stray Project general funds. We use the assistance of 5 vet offices for the vetting of district dogs and an occasional cat.
We are an all volunteer group. Until there is enough money in our organizations to pay for volunteer mileage or fuel costs, owners and caretakers of pets they wish to relinquish need to assist us by bringing the animals to us for evaluation and fostering whenever possible. Donations are expected for the animals we agree to take into our Projects to re-home or that we have to euthanize due to injuries or aggression. Howver, we seldom receive any donations for dogs we are expected to take "on the spot" and we readily take dogs from the Sheriff's department and usually take the dogs from our county seat, Marble Hill City Pound.
THE BOLLINGER COUNTY STRAY PROJECT developed in 2007
The Bollinger County Stray Project (BCSP) was developed by Bollinger County Veterinarian Service and area rescue/foster volunteers. At the time of development, there were no shelters in Bollinger County. This made assisting strays very taxing for the families that cared for the countless strays in this county. It seemed no mistake that stray after stray showed up at the same doors of these animal friendly families.
So a program was developed to help the strays and the very people who cared for them.
Our mission is to reduce the suffering of unwanted strays in our county and district area through education and by our actions. We are not extremists, nor are we blind to the problems of our communities. We are considered animal welfare advocates and we are compassionate about the people in our community as much as the critters.
Our group not only helps families with strays. We also work with families who can no longer keep their pets or who have failed to spay their females and are taxed with a litter of unwanted puppies. We require that those families have their females spayed in order to receive our assistance so that this circle of unplanned and unwanted reproduction is closed. We realize that no pet owner is perfect (who among us is), and so we want to assist the very people who ask for direction. This passive approach is working. Many who have had litter after litter are changing and becoming part of the solution: no longer part of the problem.
We are not a 501 c-3 (yet). However, we need and readily accept any donations offered our group to help the countless pets dumped in our county and surrounding area. To do this, simply write a check or call to give a credit card donation to the following: . Bollinger County Veterinarian Service, 613 Broadway Street, Marble Hill, Missouri, 63764. Telephone number is 573- 238-3063. . Cape County Stray Project, Tilsit Animal Clinic, 2009 Co Rd 335, Jackson, MO 63755. Telephone number is 573-243-2010 . Scott County Stray Project, Scott City Animal Clinic,1904 main Street, Scott City, MO 63780. Telephone number is 573-264-3455 . We also work with Dr. Steven William's clinics in Sikeston, MO and in Charleston, MO under the title of the Scott County Stray Project, Director Marilyn Olson Neville.
Let the veterinarian office know with a note or in your call that the money is to go towards the Stray Project Fund. If you have a preference to how the money is used, please state those requirements.
There are several ways you can help us with donations. We need kennels, plastic dog houses, bleach, unused medications from deceased pets (heartworm meds, topical and pills for fleas, antibiotics, etc. from clients of the vet office in Marble Hill, MO), and crates. When looking for ways to help with financial donations, please consider classroom and neighborhood fundraisers, personal donations, memorials, and through a will.
The volunteers are not paid for their gas mileage to evaluate the strays or to pick up abandoned animals and care for them. They are not paid for their mileage to transport these dogs either. For this reason animals accepted in our Project must be delivered to the veterinarian office for an examination by the caller. They are also asked to be the animal’s foster home until a new home can be secured. Food is not always available, but usually is because of the generosity of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri Wal-Mart and Sam’s Corporations who donate damaged food bags to Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill facility located in Fruitland, Missouri. This organization donated most of that food to us to feed the 30 to 50 plus dogs at our home in the Projects. Also food donations are given by our area PETCO and Buchheit stores. These company donations were vital for the BCSP, CCSP and SCSP development and our continued maintenance.
If you need assistance with a stray, need to re-home a pet, or need to report animal abuse in your community, call 573-722-3035 and talk to Marilyn, to discuss your situation. With the help of over 130 other area “Rescue Friends volunteers, we will do our best to assist your situation.
How We Work
The BCSP has designed a simple adoption contract. All animals taken in this Project are spayed and neutered, or if a puppy, the new home must agree to have the pet altered as stated in the contract. WE do not believe in the spay or neuter of baby puppies. We believe they should be at least 5 months of age for proper conformation development and for their safety.
Project animals are first accepted by signing a transfer of ownership form. Then they receive a thorough veterinary examination and are administered a 5-way vaccination, rabies if of age, heartworm test if of age, and a fecal.
Dogs that are heartworm (HW) positive are generally not included in the program unless a sponsor comes forward to pay for their treatment and a foster can be secured for the period of time required for the treatment. If a purebred dog, their rescues are contacted and asked to take the responsibility of their HW treatment and the dog's adoption. If they agree, all efforts will be made to set up transport. We may be able to administer the treatment here, but the rescue would be responsible for all the medical costs of the dog before treatment.
Our wish list includes a corporate sponsor or a resource to help us help dogs with heartworm. We receive the treatment from our vets just above their cost, making it possible to help small dogs but not large dogs, who require more serum.
The behavior of the dogs considered for the Project is evaluated by the veterinarian office and usually also by a dog savvy volunteer with years experience.
The evaluators include a retired veterinarian tech, a German Shepherd breeder, a long time dog rescue volunteer, two veterinarians, and an obedience instructor known for her ability to work with difficult dog behaviors. The group of evaluators is honest about the temperaments of the dogs listed on the BCSP website: no sugar coating.
If you know of a family that has litter after litter of unwanted pets, assistance may be available to help educate that family about programs available to spay their female(s).
Please help us get-a-grip on the overpopulation in our county and surrounding area. Continue to help the strays: volunteer to foster, donate to the BCSP, and discuss with friends the serious problems of pet abandonment.
It is true that great quality animals are dumped in our county. This is because there are so many dogs and cats and we have so many low income families. With your help, we will help all we can afford. We would like to say “Thank You” to you for all you do for the critters too.
Our project animals are scattered in the Marble Hill, Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Scott City, Portageville and surrounding southeast Missouri area. Only about 20% of our animals are adopted in homes in our area. Most are adopted in the St. Louis area that is 1.5 to 2 hours from Bollinger County. We are a Missouri rescue that has adopted dogs to Kansas City, TX, TN, MN, and IL families on a regular basis and have shipped dogs to NC, Washington DC, WA state, NH, MA, MI, MN, OH, IN, SD, KS, NE, KY, and IA. Don’t let distance stop you! Families have driven or flown, and usually we are able to set up transport, either by a paid professional or though volunteer drivers who are compassionate about helping a dog find their forever home.
A $50 fee is required to transport a pet to the St. Louis area.
Remember, we don’t sugar coat our animals. We tell you who they are in our care.
It will be worth your drive time to come here. We have a great selection of quality pets and our prices for their adoption are so reasonable. If we don’t have what you want now, email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and we will look for that perfect pet. A response may take up to 48 hours due to the use of dial-up services out here “in the sticks”, the foothills of the Ozarks…