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.