Tulsa city councilor's 'Digs for Dogs' turn trash carts into treasures
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11/27/12 at 7:42 AM
Tulsa City Councilor David Patrick and several volunteers spent part of their Thanksgiving weekend converting old trash carts into dog shelters as part of a new "Digs for Dogs" effort.
Tulsa's trash board donated to the program 40 carts that previously were used in the city's northwest quadrant.
Patrick, a trash board member, and others used his auto mechanic shop as their base of operation - scrubbing out the carts, removing the hardware, screwing down the lids and cutting smaller holes in the tops for entrances.
As a final touch, each cart-turned-shelter was outfitted with a bundle of straw to be used as a soft place for a dog to lie down.
"It's pretty cool that we've been able to take something that no longer had a use and make it work for something completely different," Patrick said.
So far, about half of the 40 carts have been converted, with the rest to be completed soon with volunteer labor.
The shelters are available starting this week from Tulsa Animal Welfare free of charge to city residents who present a valid driver's license or utility bill.
People picking up a shelter should bring a vehicle big enough to hold one.
Tulsa Animal Welfare Manager Jean Letcher said word is already getting out about the "Digs for Dogs" effort.
"We've had about 10 to 15 calls this morning from people who would like one," she said.
"I expect this first batch to go rather quickly."
A local ordinance requires pet owners to provide shelters for their outdoor animals, but many still don't, Letcher said.
"You would think it would be common sense that if you leave your dog outside, you have to leave them access to shelter," she said. "Some people don't or won't even think about it."
That's the most common reason animal welfare workers are contacted for an officer to be dispatched to check on a pet that is left outside this time of the year, Letcher said.
"It's one thing to have access to a shelter and choose not to use it; that's up to the dog," she said. "But it's up to the owner to provide that access."
The city collected thousands of the old carts from the northwest quadrant with the launch of a new trash system that uses a different kind of cart.
Hundreds of the old carts were sold at a recent city auction, but many are still on hand, leaving open the possibility that more could be donated for "Digs for Dogs."
"They are all several years old," Patrick said. "But most of them still have some life left in them."
To request a shelter
Call Tulsa Animal Welfare at 918-596-8000 and select option 6, or go in person to the city animal shelter at 3031 N. Erie Ave.
Original Print Headline: Digs for dogs will keep canines cozy
Brian Barber 918-581-8322
City Councilor David Patrick shows off a converted trash cart at his business in Tulsa on Monday. The trash board donated 40 old trash carts for the "Digs for Dogs" program, in which Patrick converts them into dog shelters to be given away through the Tulsa Animal Welfare shelter. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
City Councilor David Patrick secures converted trash carts into a truck Monday at his business in Tulsa. The trash board donated 40 old trash carts for the "Digs for Dogs" program, in which Patrick converts them into dog shelters. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World