Raccoon River Pet Rescue strikes deal with city of Perry

Raccoon River Pet Rescue Manager Lexi Linton said the agreement with the city of Perry brings welcome clarity and stability to the rescue facility.

Welcoming visitors to the February 2020 pet shower were members of the Raccoon River Pet Rescue Board of Directors, from left, Joelle Miner, Sheri Luett, Larry Meachum, Janelle Repp, Jill Brosnahan, Joyce Conklin-VanKirk and Brent Halling.

After months of negotiations, the city of Perry has struck an agreement with the Raccoon River Pet Rescue in Perry and the AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport in De Soto for adoption services for stray dogs and cats taken at large in Perry.

The Perry City Council is expected to approve the agreements at Monday night’s regular 6 p.m. meeting in the Towncraft Building at 1124 Willis Ave.

Lexi Linton, manager of the Raccoon River Pet Rescue (RRPR), said the city will continue to house the strays for seven days after their capture in the Perry Animal Holding Facility, and then they will come to the RRPR if they are not claimed by their owners.

The Perry and De Soto facilities will receive $50 for each animal they admit. AHeinz57 has provided adoption services to the city of Perry since the dissolution of the Humane Society of Perry in July 2018.

The Perry facility at 14360 Ivy Place is a no-kill shelter, according to the agreement. The RRPR offers ongoing adoptions, and Perry residents can surrender animals at the RRPR for a $50 fee. For details on adoptions, call 515-465-1800.

Linton said the RRPR currently houses some 27 cats and four dogs. The rescue has 40 “kitty condos” and 15 dog kennels, each complete with a self-contained outside dog run. There are also separate quarters for dog and cat quarantines and a room devoted to overnight drop offs.

Volunteers are always needed, said Linton, who has been running the RRPR one month after relocating to Perry from Las Vegas in June. The current 10-person volunteer staff chooses morning or evening shifts, she said. An hour-long training is enough to get new volunteers up and running, and a few weeks shadowing a veteran volunteer completes the process.

“Perry’s been a great community so far,” Linton said. “We’ve received some wonderful donations of food and supplies, and the volunteers are so enthusiastic.”

She said the extra cleaning protocols that came with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was just a further step in what was already a very clean facility. Visitors are asked to wear face masks, and volunteers mask up when they work in teams.

The RRPR’s clinical and surgical facilities provide spay and neuter services, and there are also laundry, bathing and other support services for the four-legged residents and two-legged staffers.

The $2.25 million project was largely funded by Joyce Conklin VanKirk, who shared with her late husband, Dallas “Pete” VanKirk, a boundless love for animals. Large private donations also came from the Raccoon Valley Bank, the Bock Family Foundation and the 100+ People for Perry group.

The Raccoon River Pet Rescue was incorporated in 2018 as a non-profit corporation and annexed into the city of Perry in 2019. A groundbreaking celebration at the new facility was held May 16, 2019, and an open house was held in February 2020.


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