Couple on a mission: Rescue man’s best friend

By Tonya Garner

A cacophony of barks greet Clovis residents Bob and Carol Baker as they enter the rear room of the Clovis Animal Shelter.

A tour of the room with the Bakers reveals a dozen or so dogs separated by metal cages, temporary homes for lost, stray and unwanted canines of various temperaments, breeds and sizes.

One cage is home to an exuberant male boxer who makes himself known by standing on his back legs while slobbering profusely. His neighbor is a more sedate female golden retriever who beseeches passers-by with sad brown eyes. Other cages are home to several medium-sized mixed breeds who are eager to lick an offered hand.

The husband and wife animal rescuers have created a business called One 4 All, which relocates animals from shelters to avoid euthanization. “We have found out that no facility is truly no-kill,” Bob Baker said.

“We transfer the animals to places like the Roswell Humane Society and the Heart and Soul Animal Sanctuary.”
Louisa Maestas, supervisor at the Animal Shelter, said One 4 All visits the shelter twice a week and relocates approximately five to seven dogs a week.

According to Maestas, the shelter is often at full capacity.
“We get a lot of surrendered pets,” Maestas said. “People just don’t want them anymore.”

An annual summary report from the Animal Shelter showed that, in August alone, animal control officers picked up 137 stray dogs while the shelter received 115 donated dogs.

Maestas said 144 ofthe dogs were destroyed.

Carol Baker said they primarily relocate dogs but will transport cats, although they find felines hard to place. “We don’t relocate sick or aggressive dogs,” she said.

The Bakers say they transported animals from the Clovis shelter since November, and from the Portales shelter since September. “We have relocated over 500 dogs so far,” Carol Baker said.

Bob Baker said he is seeking non-profit status for One 4 All, but to date, he and his wife are covering operating costs.
“We aren’t blood-throwers or vegetarians,” Carol Baker said. “We just have a passion for animals.”

Carol Baker said the budding animal relocation business has many goals, one of which is to use a small buildings at the animal shelter for educational purposes.

“We would like to convert it to look like a large doghouse,” Carol Baker said. “Kids could come and learn about caring for dogs and dog safety.”

Adult dogs are available for an adoption fee of $46 and puppies can be bought for $36. “This fee covers pound cost, rabies shot if needed, and a deposit on spaying or neutering,” Maestas said.

Maestas said the Bakers have helped, but it takes many volunteers to keep the facility running smoothly; volunteers from Cannon Air Force Base come daily to groom and exercise the animals; woman has created a Web site of dogs up for adoption.

“We get a lot of help from the community,” Maestas said. “That is how we can keep it so clean and sanitary.”