‘Continue with our mission’: Despite rumors, Ashland dog group not shutting down

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ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite rumors circulating online, an Ashland-area dog non-profit is not closing down.

“Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue K-9s” also known as ‘BARK’ says its doors will remain open but the focus of its mission will change going forward. 

When BARK first opened, the organization says about 400-500 dogs were adopted each year.

That’s no longer the case. According to BARK, other rescue groups in Central Virginia now handle the high-volume of adoptions in the region.

“They have plenty of capacity to adopt dogs out and house dogs,” said Dr. Bill Shafer, BARK’s treasurer. 

BARK says it transitioning away from doing adoptions in-house. That also means the group will no longer accept new dogs in its kennels.

“Our kennels will wind down over this year — probably by December we will no longer have any adoptions coming directly from BARK,” Shafer said. 

In the meantime, Bark is shifting the organization’s focus and energy to its other programs, where they say they’ll have the biggest impact in the community. 

“We are going to continue with our mission here at the spay and neuter clinic, we’re gonna continue with our mission with ‘BARK Behind Bars,'”  Shafer said. 

BARK will still help county animal controls with spay and neuter services at the Jessica Beath Clinic. And as for the dogs still with BARK, Shafer says they’re in good hands. 

“None of the dogs will be abandoned,” he said. “Every dog that we have here now will find a new home and we’ll see to it.” 

For more information about BARK and how you can help the organization moving forward, click here

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