Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman recently acknowledged April as “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month” for the City of Waynesville in accordance with the national observance.

Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman recently acknowledged April as "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month" for the City of Waynesville in accordance with the national observance.

Shelters and humane societies all across the United States are wearing orange this month to raise awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals during the month of April.

Hardman said, "We are honored to recognize the efforts of our local volunteers and our Shelter leaders, as they work to make life better for our animal friends. The City and the Council are dedicated to doing what we can to help."

Waynesville finished building a new animal shelter in 2012, providing more space and an updated facility for its dog shelter. The shelter has been very successful in its adoption program due to the efforts of its volunteers and staff, boasting a no kill rate for all adoptable dogs to enter its doors in the last several years.

Shelter director Billy Jean Walker, Waynesville animal control officer Brandon Robertson, and Pulaski County Humane Society (PCHS) President Kim Fuhr were all on hand when Hardman recognized Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month along with Kaya, a severely neglected Blue Pit Bull.

Walker said Kaya's story is typical of the kind of neglect cases that her shelter and PCHS are called in to help with. "She was found by people exploring a cave on Fort Leonard Wood," Walker said.

According to Walker, it was a weekend and the people were exploring the area near a cave on Fort Leonard Wood where there was no housing nearby, leading Walker to believe the dog was "dumped."

"She just walked up to them full of happiness and wagging her tail," Walker said.

Kaya was extremely emaciated, had obviously had puppies at some point, and was very malnourished, according to Walker.

"It was the weekend and they couldn't get her into Fort Leonard Wood, so they brought her to us. We just couldn't turn her away," Walker said.

Kaya was in remarkably good health despite the condition she was found in, according to Walker, and will be spayed soon. Walker says she is happy to report that the shelter will be taking adoption applications for Kaya very soon.

"She's never stopped wagging her tail and loving on everybody, even after being mistreated and abandoned," Walker said.

Kaya's case is one of many at the local shelters and pounds. Walker said she would like to encourage people to not "be afraid to report possible neglect to your local law enforcement." Each city in Pulaski County has a pound or a shelter that animals can be sent to, if it becomes necessary.

Residents living outside of city limits would report any cases they see to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. Often, when animal neglect and abuse cases are reported to the Sheriff's Department, and it is warranted, the Pulaski County Humane Society is asked to offer assistance. PCHS also has an agreement with the city of Crocker.

"If you wouldn't mistreat your children, then why would you mistreat a four legged member of your family? If you can't take care of them, then reach out to someone who can. Don't just dump them off by themselves," Walker said.

The animals that find their way to the local pounds and shelters are available for adoption. Staff and volunteers for the various pounds and shelters would like to invite people to come out to the adoption event being held Saturday, April 27, in Wal-Mart parking lot. The North Shore Animal League will be stopping in from noon to 6 p.m. along with many volunteers from local shelters who will have dogs and cats on hand that are available for adoption.