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Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007 03:18 pm

Best friends

New group forms to help animal-control center

Untitled Document For a long time, Pat Arbuthnot avoided the Sangamon County Animal Control Center.      But after hearing the story of a pit bull, named Spencer, who’d been abused by his owner, she decided to make the trip to check on the dog’s condition. When she visited the center, Arbuthnot — who organizes fundraising events for animal shelters — thought that it could use a little help.      Springfield’s Animal Protective League (where Spencer eventually went to live) and Illinois Humane do outstanding work because they get lots of help from volunteers, Arbuthnot says, but at the animal-control center, which is an arm of the county government, it’s a different story.      Now Arbuthnot visits the center a couple times each week and is one of a dozen members of a new organization with the unofficial designation Friends of the Sangamon Animal Control Center.      “I don’t like to hear people say they don’t like going to animal control because they put so many pets down, but that’s more of a reason to go,” Arbuthnot says. The “friends” aim to help the center find homes for as many of the animals as possible.
One member, Kathy Pierce, has matched more than 20 pets with homes on her own. “I’m tired of people mistreating pets,” says Pierce, who has nine dogs. The group meets at 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday, at the county animal center, 2100 Shale Rd., to discuss an official name, the selection of board members, and an adoption event planned for Aug. 18, National Homeless Animals Day.

For more information, e-mail friendsofanimalcontrol@hotmail.com.   
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