Five Hills royalty clear the shelters of homeless pets

Special to Leader-Press 

A German Shepherd, named Walt by the Copperas Cove Animal Control Facility after finding him wandering the streets, sat on command. He listened intently when Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts spoke to him during their walk at the shelter, giving him some much needed exercise outside of his enclosure. But, despite being an intelligent and beautiful animal, Walt remained in his cage at the end of the Clear the Shelters event on Saturday. Another day passed without an owner to take him home. 
“Animals are very near and dear to my heart and I want all of them to find their forever homes,” Roberts said. “We were able to help people that came by showing them the animals available for adoption and sit and spend time with them before making their decision to adopt.   In between showing the animals, we walked and fed the dogs and played with the kittens.  All of these animals were so sweet and they were so eager to find a family.”
The Copperas Cove city animal shelter took in 1,720 animals last year and only 649 of those animals - less than half - were adopted. The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty volunteer regularly with the shelter and worked Saturday as part of the Central Texas Clear the Shelters event where adoptions were free throughout the region.
“Some of the animals had been dropped off. Some of them have been found in the community,” Roberts said. “One that tugged at my heart was Hamil, a sweet older dog whose owner had to move into the veterans’ nursing home. He has never known anything but being with his veteran owner and now he is locked in a cage. Nobody adopted him on Saturday, but I’m hoping somebody saw our video on Facebook and will go to the shelter this week and take him home.”
Teen Miss Five Hills Mary Rhorick and Five Hills Ambassador Briana Liles showed animals available for adoption to shoppers at a chain pet store in Killeen. 
“I started out in our vaccination clinic where pets received their check-ups and immunizations,” Rhorick said. “Then, we ended the event by going to PetSmart where four dogs got adopted.”
Collectively, the work of the titleholders resulted in seven dogs and two cats getting adopted on Saturday. 
Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer placed a Chihuahua mix named Dove into the lap of retired staff sergeant George Kilgore. The 83-year old stroked the head of the small dog as Sawyer shared the dog’s history of being found as a stray in the community.
“I love to see a pet look so very happy in its new owner’s lap,” the third grader said. “I’ve rescued a pet, to be specific, a flame point Siamese, which I named Blaze. Seeing pets being adopted by their new owners was amazing.”

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