Special event to benefit new animal shelter

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Animal lovers and supporters of the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society are planning a special event, Art for Animals, to be held Jan. 31 at the Firehouse Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m. Co-chairs for the event are Ashley Heard White and Natalie Kirbo.

This is the first of a series of fundraisers planned with the primary purpose of raising money to construct a badly needed new animal shelter.

Thanks to the donation of five acres of land situated on Zorn Road, just off Hwy. 84, there is now a new location designated to build the shelter and architectural plans have been drawn. These will be unveiled at the special event.

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The group is seeking help from the community at large, and from the arts in particular, to make this event a success.

Regional artists are asked to display their works, and any that are sold will give 20 percent of the proceeds to the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society.

Donations of Animal related Art and other articles, such as jewelry, are also being sought for the silent auction, with all proceeds going to the society. This category could include the opportunity to have a future custom portrait made of your pet.

Co-chair White, said area businesses are responding with donations of gift certificates and items for a raffle. Appetizers and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and the strains of a live acoustic guitar will be heard in the background.

Those who love animals and have any knowledge of the struggles that are currently endured by those who so generously give their time and loving care at the present location of the shelter cannot help but want to help make this new shelter a reality.

Presently the shelter buildings located within the Bill Reynolds Sports Complex are deteriorating and severely inadequate to house and care for the many animals that come through the doors. The Humane Society is required to accept any and all animals brought in by City of Bainbridge and Decatur County Animal Control. These can average anywhere from 120 to 300 per month. Although adoptions and animals sent to rescues are up by 75 percent, the three separate buildings in various stages of disrepair do not supply the necessary space.

White, also an employee at the shelter, said, “Working at the shelter can be a dirty and emotional job, and one I never would have thought I would be doing. But, I cannot imagine any other job than being here. We make the best we can with this shelter, but it is not fair to the animals to be in this place and not have the best possible environment for opportunities to be adopted.” She said that is the sentiment of all who work there.

The new location will house a facility specifically designed for the proper care of animals, with the entire structure under one roof.  Shelter staff, as well as the animals, will not have to endure the harsh weather conditions they now face as they go from building to building.

Another significant advantage of the new site is its close proximity to the airport where staff and animals routinely meet the many rescue flights going out each week.
Volunteers are always needed to help with fundraisers, care for the animals by fostering or just walking dogs, as well as donating food, toys and cleaning supplies.

Tickets for the Arts for Animals are $50 and are available from the DCHS Animal Shelter, 1250 Cox Ave., Bella’s Boutique, Maiden South, or call (229) 220-3349 or (229) 246-0101.

Visit their website www.bainbridgehumanesociety.com to see all the adoptable dogs and cats, as well as the many success stories. You can also pay a visit to the shelter and see firsthand what the many needs are.