Shelley Brinkley has loved animals for as long as she can remember. In fact, her name almost
comes to mind instantly if you think of a lost or animal in need in our community. Her rescue
efforts began in her teens, and grew more avid in her adult life as she worked with multiple
animal rescues all over the state of Illinois. Her cousin, Victoria Runyon, opened the Salem
Claws and Paws in June of 2018, and the Olney store opened in January of 2019. It now has
begun a new chapter as it has branched into becoming a rescue for animals as well as
facilitating adoptions here in Olney. The community has been abundant in supporting the
work, and has generously filled the store with donations which assists in funding the rescue.
Businesses, schools, and kind hearted individuals have been gracious to aid in donations of
kennels, food, and supplies. Monetary donations are welcome to assist with the remodeling to
finish what is needed for the rescue and for the always present vet costs.
They are pleased to announce their progress as they have a board, faithful volunteers, and the
Animal Rescue Center is now USDA approved as well. If someone is interested in adopting a
pet, the animals are posted on the Claws and Paws page with all their information listed.
Meetings are made by appointment, with an application process following; the board verifies
that the pet and owner are a good fit. It is also a requirement that a home visit is made for the
adoption candidate with all who are living in the home being met. It is also to be noted it is not
on a first come first served basis either in the selection process; it is designed to match up the
pet to the right pet owner. It is also a part of the process in the rescue and adoption that all
pets are to be spayed or neutered, as well as have proper veterinary care. This also would
include that the pet have all required vaccinations. It should be noted that the rescue will
facilitate care for animals in and outside Richland County as need arises.
The Grand Opening for the “Animal Rescue Center” at Claws and Paws will be Saturday,
November 2, 2019 from 2 PM to 4 PM featuring a silent “pawtion”, winners to be announced
after the event. The afternoon will also have on site “Purfect Pawccinations” with Dr. Vore
from Fairfield Veterinary Hospital offering at a very reasonable cost vaccinations and microchip
for pets. “He has a big heart for the animals,” Shelley added. Shoppers will love the $5.00
basket sale and a great deal on the 5 for $5.95 sandwiches. Melanie Rees, the local talented
artist who painted the beautiful pet mural, will be on site as well.
When asked what the center could use presently, Shelley Brinkley suggested making direct
donations to Flora Vet Clinic in the Animal Rescue’s name, kitty litter, Clorox wipes, puppy pads,
paper towels, bleach, and wet cat food. The shop can always use donations as well. The most
pressing need is for volunteers and especially for transports for vet visits.
Claws and Paws”and the “Animal Rescue Center” is located on 218 South West Street. They
can be reached from 10-4 Tuesday – Saturday at 395-1218 They cordially invite all to attend
their Grand Opening this Saturday from 2-4.