Furever Home

When I first thought about coupling with the Humane Society to do my passion project, I thought that help would really only be needed for the animal side of it. After spending some time at the Humane Society this week, I have learned the depth of their need. The Humane Society is a non-profit organization that truly relies on donations as well as volunteers in the community to keep their business going.

To raise money to keep the Humane Society going, the Director, Cathy McDaniels puts on amazing fundraisers. An annual fundraiser that has been put on for a few years now is “The Fine & The Furry Calendar”. This features local men (shirtless), with shelter pets or the men’s pets. Many people buy this calendar, and the best part is, all of these people volunteer their services for free, so that 100% of the proceeds go to the shelter food program. This ensures that each and every cat and dog are fed quality food consistently. This is such an awesome fundraiser, because it gets community members involved and aware, while raising money for the pets at the shelter.

Another fundraiser that the Humane Society hosts is the “Don’t Come Ball”. This is a fundraiser that is different than normal fundraisers. Instead of throwing a huge lavish party, the Humane Society asks that you stay home and love on your pet. You can donate to the fundraise simply by buying tickets for the “non-event”, or by donating what you can. By the sound of it to me, it didn’t seem like it would be a popular event, but when I spoke with Cathy she said that it actually has been a big hit, and why they have been able to “host” this fundraiser for 7 years now. The thought of staying at home and love on your animal, while giving to the shelter so that those pets can get some love, draw a lot of people’s interest to give during this event fundraiser.

One thing that was bittersweet for me was reading and learning about the shelter’s statistics of 2016. The shelter started off at the beginning of the year with 931 total animals in their shelter, and they ended June of 2016 with 99 animals. Looking at the raw numbers, this seems like a win, but for some of the animals it was not. Although the number may seem small in the scheme of things, 147 of the shelter’s animals were euthanized last year. On top of that, 10 of the shelters pets died while they were in the Humane Society’s care. To some, this may not seem like a bad fate, but to me it feels sad in so many ways. The pets that died in the Humane Society never got to experience living in a home, full of love and joy. They also most likely never got to ever experience a loving home at all.

One happy statistic that I would like to look at is the fact that 201 pets got reunited with their owners! I have definitely had my own scare with my dogs running away, and let me tell you it’s an awful experience. The fact that the Humane Society is always on the look out for dogs on the loose and keeps them safe while you don’t have them is reassuring for any pet owner out there.

Although I am totally a dog person, I plan on helping cats & dogs alike, as much as possible. When I went and met with Cathy, we brainstormed ideas about what needs to be done, and she also showed me around the shelter. I will be performing tasks  like baking treats for the pets, walking dogs, and making table “cloths” for the shelter to use at events, and making crate cover tie blankets for the cats, as well as much more. All of these tasks directly benefit the animals, and that’s exactly what I am there for. This week has been spent looking up tutorials on youtube and Pinterest so that I can make sure I can correctly make these projects for the animals! I’m excited to bring some joy, love, and treats in to the lives of the pets that reside at the shelter.

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Furever Home

  1. barnardeducationblog says:

    With animals being one of my passions, this made me tear up a little to be honest! My family had to make the choice of putting our 13 year old yellow lab down Friday, so it’s been a very long weekend. Animals are our little fur babies, they are a huge part of our family! I’m very happy to see someone kind to be spending time at the shelter, it breaks my heart to know that those animals don’t experience love everyday. I know (and hope) that workers at the humane society care and provide for those sweethearts, but every animal deserves to have a furever home! I LOVE the title of your blog too caught my eye 🙂

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    • hillarybollish says:

      Madison,
      I am so sorry to hear that. We lost our dog Willbur last year around Christmas time. It is always hard to lose a part of your family that has been there so long and showed so much love and loyalty. I’m so excited and ready to bring anything positive that I can for some of those animals. My puppies get spoiled at home, so I figured that they could share me with other dogs for a semester! Thanks, I’m trying to be creative with my titles, it’s part of my objective to become better at blogging!

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  2. mindycressdigitalliteracyspring2017 says:

    Hillary, you have an amazing ILP! Volunteering your time to help the animals at the Humane Society sounds like a blast, and you will be able to help out animals in need. The ideas that you have already come up with will help the Humane Society a lot. Maybe at the end of the semester we might be able to team up and I can donate smaller blankets that I can learn through my knitting ILP? I look forward to reading your blog throughout your journey.

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  3. triciamillerblog says:

    The more I read about you ILP the more I want to be part of it. I also wouldn’t mind buying one of those calendars, for the pets or course. I love what they do, and the support they get from the community. I also did not think that having the stay at home fundraiser would be that popular, but how great is it that it actually works for them! I can’t wait to continue reading about this journey of yours!

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    • hillarybollish says:

      Thanks Tricia! I actually have one of the calendars and it’s just a fun calendar that has cute boys & cute animals! I’m so glad people are seeing the good that the Humane Society does in the community. For our pet population they are so crucial in containing and helping re-home many animals.
      Hillary

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  4. timmikeisel says:

    Hillary,
    I’m honestly a little jealous I didn’t think of this ILP. One of the things I miss most about being home is my dogs. My 11 year-old lab died last December, and it was really hard on my family. Cooper passed away surrounded by his whole family, and it makes me so sad to think that some animals don’t get the same thing. It also saddens me that people spend thousands of dollars on pets when there are so many in humane societies. I hope you enjoy spending time with the animals this semester! I will certainly be jealous! I look forward to reading about your experiences!

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    • hillarybollish says:

      Timmi,
      It makes me happy that you all got to be there when your dog Cooper passed. It is definitely hard & heart wrenching, but if I hadn’t been there when my dog Willbur passed, I would have been even more devastated. I agree, I think that it is so sad that people only want a certain breed of dog & won’t consider adopting from a local humane society instead. I think people should think more about why they want a pet, which would be love and companionship, as opposed to the certain type of dog they want. If you treat and train a dog right, anyone can be the perfect one for you.
      Hillary

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  5. vmfank says:

    Hillary, I love you ILP! This is going to be a great experience for you, but also for the animals because they are going to be taken care of by a loving person! I too love animals…4 cats and 2 dogs later…and want to give them all a home. Reality however slaps me in the face and makes me realize that it isn’t feasible. And even though you aren’t a cat lover, you are still willing to give them loves too. Way to go!

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    • hillarybollish says:

      Thanks Val! I feel the same, every time I see a dog or animal (just saw a pig on the Scottsbluff garage sale site), it makes me sad and I want to give them a home. If my husband agreed to everyone I asked for, we would have a million dogs by this point!

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