Humane Society needs assistance

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Budgets. Oh I hate that word!

One of life’s necessary evils! It seems we can’t turn on a news channel or read a newspaper without that word blinking in neon from the screen or the pages. And that’s not all; those of us who are part of an organization or corporation face it in stark reality every day.

I don’t know of any group, entity or individual that is not currently facing major issues related to budget. If there is one you know of, please ask them to put the Humane Society in as a line item!

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Sadly, it is our reality that everyone is facing major strains in his/her finances. If you have visited the grocery store lately or had to fill your vehicle with gas, it hits you hard in the pocketbook. The Humane Society is certainly not immune. We have wonderful supporters in this community, but reality is reality. Donations are down. Adoptions are down. Incoming animals are up. Far too many people are forced to give up the family pet for economic reasons. I am not here to judge them—just stating a fact.

So what are we to do?

A few years ago, we faced this same grim reality. We were running out of money. People came to our aid then and for the past several years, we have been blessed with sufficient funds to operate the shelter. Operate on a very tight budget, I might add. However, the reality of current economic conditions, ever increasing operating costs and diminishing income has placed us once again in peril.

We need your help!

As part of that appeal, we are setting ourselves a goal of 500 new members. Join us and be a part of the solution. Memberships start at $25 per year for an individual, $35 per year for a family. We know that substantially more than 500 families in Decatur County have beloved family pets. And if we expand to Seminole and Miller counties (they certainly turn in many animals to us) the number is much higher.

So how about you? Are you a member? If not, why not? In honor of your furry best friend why not join today?

You can find an application for membership next to this story or at our website:

Or you can obtain one at the animal shelter (1250 Cox Avenue, across from the new ballpark). You can also obtain one from our adoption booth at First Saturday in Willis Park, or at our information booth at Rivertown Days.

Of course, we gratefully accept donations of sums larger than our minimum memberships.

Many of you probably read about the cat hoarder that county animal control and the sheriff’s department raided last week. Almost 50 cats came into the shelter. I’m sure you were horrified by what you read and saw in the photos, but did you pause to think about what it would cost to handle the sudden influx of that many animals?

Our budget is unable to handle that kind of expense. (The county is denying responsibility for payment.)

We perform a service to the citizens of this community by providing a safe and humane shelter for unwanted animals. We have also, over the years, and currently, provided subsidized spay/neuter surgeries for the pets of low-income families who cannot afford the cost.

We have some angels in our community who support us and our efforts. We need more. These are difficult times for many families here and elsewhere. Funds are tight. However, if every family could give just a small amount we could continue to provide the services many have come to rely upon.

Please join us! Be a part of the solution. We don’t want to go back to the way things were! We hope you don’t either!

There are many ways to contribute: Become a member, make a donation of any amount, join our $10 per month club, attend our fund-raising events, buy a T-shirt.

And call your county commissioner to ask them to enter into a supportive contract with the Humane Society; a contract that helps to support our efforts to provide humane care and second chances for helpless animals and also assists with keeping the pet over-population down.

Remember, we are a 501c.3 not-for-profit corporation and your donations are tax deductible. We are not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States and we pay no dues to them, nor do we receive any funding from them. We are a local charitable organization dedicated to serving our community by providing care and a second chance for unwanted pets. They need your help!

Look into your furry best friend’s eyes right now and let your heart hear their plea for those less fortunate.

Can we count on you? Can they?

Pam Immendorf

Humane Society president

Bainbridge, Ga.

Humane Society Membership Application