Local Human Society celebrates 12 years

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Lifestyle Editor

On Friday, Nov. 18, the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society will be having a “howling good time,” as they celebrate the 12-year anniversary of “helping the helpless.” The 501© 3 organization took over the City of Bainbridge’s all-breed animal shelter on November 20, 2004.

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The Humane Society was actually formed in 2002, when a handful of people got together with the main goal of improving conditions at the city run animal shelter. By November 2004, an agreement was reached with the City of Bainbridge and the Humane Society took over running the shelter for a contracted sum. Shelter Director Beth Eck commented that she would very much like thank Mayor Bill Reynolds. “He understood the need, and he also loved animals, so without him we wouldn’t be where we are today. “

The two metal buildings that house the animals are located on Cox Avenue, across from the ballparks. The current buildings are deteriorating and space is totally inadequate for the numbers of animals that are brought in by animal control, as well as those that are relinquished by owners.

According to figures provided by Shelter Director Beth Eck, there were 2000 animals received in 2015, with 367 going to rescues. So far in 2016, they have taken in 1498. Of those 273 have been adopted, 426 have gone to rescue, 115 have been reclaimed and 49 are in the foster program. Over the 12-year period, they have taken in 27,912 animals.

In 2014, a local citizen donated five acres of land for a new shelter facility to be built.  Several fundraisers are held throughout the year to benefit the building fund, as well as to generate operating expenses. Most notable is the annual ART for Animals, which first began January, 2015.

Forty-nine percent of the annual operating expenses are covered by the city and county governments. The remainder has to come through memberships, animal fees, donations and fundraisers.

In spite of the overwhelming building problems, overcrowding and handicaps, the shelter has eight loyal and dedicated caregivers who treat the dogs and cats as if they were their own.

They have come a long way in 12 years and now they are ready to celebrate their successes.

The party begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. There will be raffles and door prizes, refreshments and free adoptions on Nov. 17, 18 and 19. 

Shelter workers will be happy to have previously adopted pets come by to say hello.