The Ozark animal shelter only keeps dogs for seven days.
It’s not by choice but it's a schedule they must keep.
If they're not claimed, they're put down.
Now, Daleville Police Chief Harvey Mathis has come up with a way to give those dogs a little more time.
That's the sound of a puppy in search of a forever home.
And a cry that Chief Mathis can't stand.
He's a dog lover and that passion has driven him to help the lost dogs in his community.
“We give the dogs a safe place to stay until we can find their home.”
One week, seven days, 168 hours.
Once that time is up, many dogs in this shelter will be euthanized.
Authorities say cost forces the shelter to make difficult decisions.
Cpt. Bobby Blankenship of the Ozark Police Department said, “We wish that we could hold animals indefinitely, unfortunately there's only so much funding that you can do with any city shelter, make sure they're fed good, make sure they have a clean environment. We check on them daily. You know, we do what we can with whatever we have available.
And unfortunately, for most, time is running out.
“A lot of times we think it's too short because we don't want to see anything happen to the animals. Unfortunately we just don't have a whole lot of choices sometimes.”
So Mathis came up with a plan.
With the help of the Daleville community, he's built this pen at the Police Department to hold lost dogs for about 72 hours.
“We got donations from people, they gave kennels, the dog dishes, we got some toys in their for the dogs, all these were donated.”
With the clock ticking, Mathis says any extra time for these animals can be the difference between life and death.
Daleville police Chief, Harvey Mathis, said, “The key thing is we want to give the owners enough time to just call the Police Department and say look I lost my dog, did you pick it up?”
“They've only had the pen at the Daleville Police Department for a short time, but they haven't had to transport any dogs to the Ozark pound since the pen was built.
Chief Mathis encourages all dog owners to put tags on their pets' collars to make it easier to get those dogs home.