Kevin McClintock: Golden Paw needs new transportation

This little guy will be adoptable in a few weeks. But he’s an example of the dogs and cats that are transported from Joplin’s Golden Paw Animal Rescue and Sanctuary to Neosho for medical runs. The shelter is in desperate need of funding to help purchase a new transport van.Globe | Kevin McClintock

When Golden Paw Animal Rescue and Sanctuary asks the public for help, you better believe it’s a big deal.

Simply put, Mary Ann Schlau, owner of Golden Paw and the matriarch of unwanted pets throughout the Joplin area, rarely asks for help. So when she does post a plea, there’s a significant reason why.

“We are not the type of rescue that puts sick or injured dogs on (social media) and asks for money,” Schlau said with a shake of her head. “We do not do that here at Golden Paw because we feel that is the responsibility of a rescue — to take care of the dogs we take in.”

However, she continued, “we do need help. Just like any other rescue needs help, we need help — help with vet bills, help with food, but we only ask the public when we are in dire need.”

And right now, Schlau and the fine folks at Golden Paw are in dire need of a new and reliable form of transportation. Namely, a van.

Sure, when you think of an animal rescue and their needs, dog and cat food, pet carriers, cleaning supplies — maybe a new washer and dryer — immediately come to mind. But a reliable vehicle, particularly a van, is a vital component of any active animal sanctuary.

“We need a van more than we need anything else,” Schlau said.

At least once a week, every Thursday, Golden Paw employees and volunteers ship between 15 and 25 dogs — either new arrivals or shelter animals on the mend — to the Pet Clinic of Neosho for key medical checks. Sometimes they make that trip more than once in a week’s time, on top of other excursions here and there. It all adds up quick. And it takes its toll.

The rescue’s trusty 1993 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, donated to the rescue in 1996, has been transporting dogs to Neosho and all other points throughout the Four-State Area until it sputtered and died two weeks ago. Since then, Schlau has used her own Buick Enclave and the vehicles of her employees or volunteers to take the dogs on their Neosho run. The costs to fix the vehicle are astronomical; just to fix the windshield alone would be more than what the battered vehicle is worth.

Not having a vehicle doesn’t mean “we won’t do something,” Schlau said, “that we’ll lay down and die. But we really need transportation. We need something that’s dependable for us.”

The shelter has opened a GoFundMe account to raise $11,000 to purchase an available 2015 Ford Transit Cargo van that would more than meet its needs (unless, that is, a kind soul reading this would be willing to donate a reliable vehicle to the popular pet rescue). Sadly, just $65 has so far been raised.

Remember, any and all contributions are tax deductible and will be used to help Golden Paw further its rescue efforts throughout the Joplin metro area.

The GoFundMe link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jm7vk-animal-transport. You can also go to the shelter’s Facebook page and click on the link provided on the page.

Details: 417-623-0842.

Address correspondence to Kevin McClintock, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email kmcclintock@joplinglobe.com.

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