All of our members contribute in a variety of ways to our mission, which, in simple terms, is to improve the quality of life for every animal we encounter.
In the case of dogs, the process begins when Valley Center Animal Control Officer Frank Miller becomes aware of a dog in need of help. This happens in a variety of ways. Occasionally, an owner relinquishes a pet to the city. Other times it becomes known to Mr. Miller that a dog is not being cared for and he counsels the owner with an ultimatum to either provide, at a minimum, basic ownership responsibilities. Failure to do so sometimes results in satisfactory improvements, sometimes not, and the dog is legally seized by the city.
The most common way the city gets involved is when an owner allows his pet to run wild and it is reported by a Good Samaritan. For example, the shepherd mix presently in our care was seen roaming on South Meridian.
Lastly, a dog can be dumped, as was the case of the other dog presently with us who was picked up at the high school. (Nellie and Star are still in need of volunteers to foster them as we continue to find their forever home.)
Every animal that becomes a ward of the city is housed at the Ark Valley Animal Hospital where their health is evaluated and any behavioral needs addressed. If an owner does not come forward after three days, the league assumes responsibility and a text informs the membership that we have yet another waif in our care. And, thanks to you, our loyal supporters, we have the means to keep them in Valley Center.
Consider, if you will, the alternative, which would be to take them to the Wichita Animal Shelter at a cost to the city of $70 and their plight is unacceptable to animal lovers. To our knowledge, no other city in our area has any other option, although there are a number of very good animal rescue organizations that intervene after a waiting period, and the Wichita Humane Society houses many displaced animals and find homes for a majority, or so it is hoped.
League members are on the street soliciting donations of goods and services for our annual Father-Daughter Dance and, as we learned at our last meeting, businesses as well as individuals have responded extremely well. A complete list of donors will be forthcoming in this column but for now, suffice to say, we are very excited about the items we have gathered to support the evening of festivities.
Personally, my wife Betsy and I have learned through our interest in donating prizes that there is something called a Chromebook that costs 50 times as much as any book we have ever heard of, MacBooks that are 100 times more expensive as a Big Mac, and that if you are on an auction site such as Liquidation.com you probably shouldn’t have bought a riding lawnmower that is on a pallet and has to be picked up in Bentonville, Ark. (For the record, I’m trying to get my bid rescinded!)
However, on the plus side, I was the winning bidder for a sweet Huffy cycle that some lucky dance darling can ride out of the gym come Saturday evening, Feb. 7.
Check on our website or Facebook for pictures of all of the aforementioned. We are Valley Center Animal League, produced by Deidra Jackson.
Laura Schumock, our esteemed secretary, and friends are making Joey pouches, sleeping mats and bat bags for animals adversely affected by the devastating fires in Australia. Kudos to all of you. And, there is a record to report from Don Bennett Jr.: 340 pounds of aluminum cans sold for $119. Many, many thanks to all of you who save those cans for us!
Dance tickets are still available at Ann’s Attic, 215 S. Meridian and Paw Prints, 108 N. Ash. They are $25 per person. Dinner, door prizes, raffles, gift baskets, and best of all, a beautiful experience with your little darlings. Memories are made of times like this. See you there!
Ed Varner is a member of the Valley Center Animal League. Reach him at or 616-7487.