Humane Society needs help for new van

Published 7:23 am Friday, August 10, 2012

The Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, Inc., contends with many of the same concerns as other charitable organizations. Lack of adequate funding is, and unfortunately will always be, the most critical issue we all constantly face. Through the generosity of supporters, fund-raisers, some local government payment for the services we provide, and stringent oversight of our expenses, we have been able to eke out ways to continue operations at the animal shelter.

State and local ordinances mandate the humane treatment of animals, and we provide that service to counties and municipalities surrounding and including the City of Bainbridge and Decatur County. Those services include, but by no means are limited to: the care, feeding and medical treatment of animals brought in to the shelter; housing of animals pending legal decisions; assisting law enforcement officials in capturing and transporting hoarded and abused animals; seeking homes for adoptable animals — the list is infinite.

Along with those services, we daily contend with operating costs, payroll, lack of space and worn out and broken-down equipment. The last item brings me to the point of this letter. A few years ago, a Humane Society in south Florida donated their cargo van to us when they replaced it with a new one. With almost 195,000 miles under its belt, the now 17-year-old fan has been a real workhorse in transporting animals to rescue, veterinarian visits and adoption booths.

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It is also used for supply runs and other trips the staff makes for the shelter’s needs. The old trouper has worn out on us, and is constantly in need of repairs and replacement parts — we have done everything short of using baling wire to keep it running.

On a recent 55-mile round trip to transport animals, by actual count it stalled 60 times. Repairs to fix the problem are expensive, but we have no choice except to have them done. We are seeking a grant that might include assistance in replacing the van, but grants take a long time to process and there is no guarantee we would receive it.

In our desperation, we are reaching out to the public for help in obtaining a new or gently-used cargo van. If you can help, or have suggestions on how we can keep our shelter moving on reliable wheels, please call (229) 246-4238.

Carol Lewis

Secretary, Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society