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Waggin’ Wagon mobilizes Oklahoma City's pet adoption efforts

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The City of Oklahoma City’s Animal Welfare Waggin’ Wagon | Photo provided
  • The City of Oklahoma City’s Animal Welfare Waggin’ Wagon | Photo provided

Making its way through the streets of Oklahoma City is the one of the newest additions to the city’s Animal Welfare division.

Waggin’ Wagon is a converted recreational vehicle being used to help find forever homes for pets needing adoption.

“Taking the Waggin’ Wagon to locations other than the shelter is a huge advantage in the sense it gets animals’ faces out into the community and … seen by adopters who may never visit the shelter,” said Oklahoma City shelter supervisor Crystal Wise. “Maybe they are not necessarily looking to adopt, or maybe they are not aware of the shelter’s existence. So taking animals to other locations greatly increases adoption numbers, which means more animals are in a home and being loved.”

The Waggin’ Wagon is a 26-foot recreational vehicle donated by Massachusetts-based The Stanton Foundation in 2014. It has space for up to 28 animals, mostly dogs, that need to be adopted.

“The interior is stocked with kennels for animals and all the necessary things to care for them,” Wise said. “It has lots of storage space for items such as blankets to make the animals cozy, a refrigerator for any food the animals need that needs to stay cool, and is equipped with heat and air conditioning to keep animals and visitors comfortable.”

The color inside is a bright, inviting blue. It also has a canopy that can be turned out so passersby can see the animals inside, and it is spacious enough visitors can go inside.

On any given day, the shelter has between 100 and 200 animals waiting for adoption.

Adoption fees are $60 for one or two animals, unless the animal is over 4 years old or has been in the shelter for two weeks or longer. In those cases, the adoption fee drops to $30, and the shelter provides reduced-price or fee-waived adoptions as often as possible.

The response to taking the animals on the road has been overwhelmingly positive, Wise said.

“People are loving it,” she said. “The wagon is well maintained, clean and has a beautiful colorful design. It is also very spacious for the animals. The shelter is receiving a great deal of response from businesses and community events wanting the Waggin’ Wagon to visit and have an adoption event at their location.”

For the most part, the RV travels mainly within the boundaries of Oklahoma City but sometimes does travel outside the city limits. The most frequent location to find it, Wise said, is at local PetSmart locations, multiagency adoption events and other community events.

Anyone who has ever tried to take a cat on a car ride knows they don’t travel well. For that reason, Wise said Waggin’ Wagon is limited mainly to the canine population.

“Cats do tend to stress out more than dogs when it comes to change,” she said. “Cats enjoy being in quarters they are accustomed to, so cats are not often taken to adoption events in the Waggin’ Wagon for their safety as well as visitors’.”

Cats are available for adoption at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter noon-5:45 p.m. every day (excluding major holidays) and also at Midwest City’s PetSmart location, 7177 SE 29th St.

Besides the kennels, the wagon is self-contained with a generator, an audio system, storage space and a desk for paperwork.

“Anyone interested in having the Waggin’ Wagon attend an event they are hosting is welcome to call us,” Wise said.

Call 405-297-2098 or visit the shelter’s website at okc.gov/animalwelfare for more information. A calendar of events is online with dates, times and locations, and visitors can view the wagon and check out animals waiting for homes.

Print headline: Happy tails, The City of Oklahoma City’s Waggin’ Wagon helps shelter animals find forever homes.

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