THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF ALLEN COUNTY IN CRISIS

Community Support Desperately Needed as Organization Struggles to Survive

The Humane Society of Allen County is asking Allen County residents, supporters, sponsors and adoptive pet parents to come together and help in a time of crisis to ensure the survival of the shelter.

Despite gains made during the last year, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is no longer visible and the shelter is in financial dire straits. The annual dip in donations in the first quarter of the year has continued into the second quarter. The low-cost clinic has not generated the funds anticipated and grant funding opportunities continue to be scarce. Therefore the Board of Directors and the Executive Director are considering all options up to and including a complete re-configuration of the organization. Due to the continuing pressure of ever-increasing costs and dwindling revenue, the Humane Society of Allen County is struggling to survive. Without immediate aide from the community the organization may very well not survive.

Over the seventy-eight year history of the organization it has relied upon memberships – both individual and corporate – as the sustainable revenue stream. However today’s economy is not conducive to that type of sustainability. Without regular income the Society is unable to provide medical care for the abused, neglected and unwanted animals of Allen County, much needed building upkeep, an appropriate staffing level and pay bills.

The corporate campaign launched last year never gained steam, a planned annual campaign to generate membership dollars is still under consideration but the need is immediate.

Nearly fifteen years ago the Society asked the residents of Allen County to support building a new shelter and the community responded. The shelter located at 3606 Elida Road is nearly twenty thousand square feet and can comfortably house up to three hundred animals. At the time the building was built however the Society received support from the County and had a membership list of well over three hundred supporters. That has not been the case for more than a decade. The Society receives absolutely no funding from the Allen County Commissioners or any other government entity.

The Board of Directors and Executive Director Tracy Tibbitts are diligently working to stimulate support, resurrect membership participation, expand fundraising opportunities and community outreach but help from the community is desperately needed. The shelter is critical to the area due to the large number of abused, neglected and abandoned animals who have no other place to go. It is also critical in dealing with the large number of feral cats and unwanted kittens – other rescues cannot take in all of the Allen County animals in need, particularly the cats. In order to help these animals the shelter must survive. In order to survive the shelter needs immediate help from the community.

 

For more information about the Humane Society of Allen County please visit the web site: www.hsoac.org; the Facebook page or call the shelter at 419.991.1775.

Spring For the Paws Craft Show

The Humane Society of Allen County is pleased to announce a Spring for the Paws Craft Show. The event will take place on Saturday April 25, 2015 at the shelter – 3606 Elida Road – beginning at 12:00 noon and lasting until 5:00 p.m. Vendors from all across Allen County will be participating. The day includes a raffle with items donated by the vendors and a 50/50 drawing.

Items expected to be available include but are not limited to: handmade jewelry, hand-knitted gifts, handmade clay ornaments, items from Baskets by Vivian, Avon, Thirty-One, Pampered Chef and Celebrating Home.

Snacks and refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Room is still available for vendors, participation fee is $25.00 donation. Interested parties should contact Tracy Tibbitts, Executive Director at 419.991.1775 or at 419.236.8498 or via email execdir@hsoac.org CLICK HERE for a downloadable flyer

Thanks For Your Support

We would like to thank some of generous people who supported the shelter in January & February, we apologize if we have overlooked anyone (online donations may not be listed as reports have not yet been downloaded):

Lima Eagle Riders—Aerie #370

Ladies Night Out

Terry & Virginia Snow

William & Connie Weber

Donald & Janis Bridge

Harry Miller

All About Dogs

Donald & Nancy Luebrecht

Dominion Matching Gift Program

St Luke’s Church

Teresa Irwin

David & Jane Rutledge

Ron & Nila Conner

Carol Gordon

Francis & Helen Scalzi

Terry Mullenhour

Carol Zoller

Bill Hanz

Arthur & Penny Welenken

Evans Pseekos

Diane Laratta

Mr. & Mrs. Youngpeter

Roy & Iwona Reichenbach

WP & Sara WhiteKevin & Cynthia Bruin

Wilhelmine Frueh

 

 

Volunteer News

Volunteers are critical to the operations of all nonprofits and the Humane Society of Allen County is no exception. Without  the hard work of our volunteers  we would not be able to live our mission to serve the abused, neglected and abandoned animals of our community.

Our programs, our events, even our day to day operations would not be possible without volunteers.

While volunteering is not a job per se it is very helpful when volunteers can schedule their time. That way we know when to expect to see you and can better plan support and participation in programs and events.

Volunteers can of course walk dogs and socialize cats. But volunteers can also help in the business office—answering phones, updating mailing lists, if qualified do light bookkeeping, filing, pre-paring event materials. There are many ways you can use your time and talents to help.

In order to volunteer is it necessary to attend an orientation. We try to hold two such meetings a month. In March we have the 7th and the 21st scheduled. Give us a call, download the application from the web site and schedule your orientation today.

We do ask modest volunteer commitment fee to cover the cost of your t-shirt, a virtual adoption of a shelter pet for a year and other volunteer program costs. More and more shelters across the country are requiring such fees given the economy.

Give us a call! 419.991.1775

 

Kitten Season: Love is in the Air

You see them in your neighborhood and wonder where they call home. They don’t come up to you in fact they seem afraid of humans. Are these cats strays? Maybe, but probably not. For these outside-living “community cats” though it will soon be “kitten season” and love is already in the air. Every Spring we receive numerous calls about kittens, far more than we can take in.

To try to reduce the amount of unwanted, homeless cats in our community the Humane Society of Allen County is once again raising funds to support our TNR program: Operation Catnip. You may be wondering what the difference is between a stray and a feral cat.

Technically a “stray” cat is one that once had a home, one socialized to humans. It may have been left behind when the people it depended upon moved away, it may have been a housecat who got out one day and is lost. The longer stray cats go without human contact the greater the odds that they could become “feral”. The difference between a stray gone wild and a true feral cat is that the stray can most often be reintroduced to domestic life. Most true feral cats never become fully domesticated.

So what is a feral cat? A feral cat is a true “community cat” it has never had a home other than the great outdoors, is not convinced that humans are to be trusted and, in many cases, is not ever going to be domesticated enough to feel comfortable with people. Some people might call such cats “wild”.

In the State of Ohio cats are not considered companion animals under the law. They are protected somewhat by anti-cruelty laws but not to the same extent that dogs are, they aren’t licensed, not required to be confined (leashed or in a yard) and can be considered a nuisance in many neighborhoods.

Contrary to some common misconceptions, feral cats are not a new phenomenon, and they are not cast-offs from irresponsible pet owners (whereas stray cats might be). Domestic cats came into existence about 10,000 years ago, when humans began farming. According to scientists, cats are one of the only animals who domesticated themselves—choosing to live near humans to feed on the rodents attracted by stored grain. Evolutionary research shows that the natural habitat of cats is outdoors in close proximity to humans—and that is how they have lived ever since. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1940s—and the invention of cat litter—that “indoors only” for cats was even a concept.

Programs such as Trap Neuter Release (TNR) can slow the population growth and improve the quality of life of cats (especially for the females). Trap Neuter Release is the humane, effective approach for feral cats. Feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. The colony’s population stabilizes—no more kittens! Trap Neuter Release improves their lives and their relations with the community: the behaviors and stresses associated with mating stop.

A TNR program will not immediately remove “nuisance” animals from neighborhoods but the population will reduce over time. Feral kittens 12 weeks old or younger can often be successfully domesticated and adopted into loving homes. Outdoor cats who are friendly and well socialized are strays who can be rehomed with loving humans. Finding homes for  those who can be placed will be another challenge in bringing the homeless cat population under control.  Simply removing all the cats from one area creates a vacuum that encourages others to move in—great food source, shelter etc.—and take their place.

Volunteers & Funding Are Critical. While we apply for grants and fund-raise to support the project, we also need volunteer people-power. We will soon begin training volunteers in the proper methods of trapping strays and ferals for Operation Catnip. We will be speaking to neighborhood associations, holding webinar training meetings utilizing information from Alley Cat Allies. If you’d like to help—and we need your help—in identifying hotspots, trapping cats and returning them to their outdoor homes contact the shelter 419.991.1775 or by email: info@hsoac.org

 

 

Annual Meeting Held

The Annual Meeting of the Humane Society of Allen County was held on Thursday January 15, 2015 at the shelter (3606 Elida Road in Lima).

Highlights of the meeting included the Volunteer of the Year Awards with the adult category represented by Bill Hanz and the youth category represented by Meghan Naumburg.

Another highlight was the announcement of the receipt of a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Animal Fund for the operation of a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. The clinic will be 100% grant funded and offer low-cost spay and neuter services as well as testing (heartworm, FeLV/FIV) and vaccinations. The clinic will be by appointment only and initially only be operating on Mondays until such time as additional grant funding can be obtained.

Goals for the 2015 year were announced and include: being able to bring back the Humane Officer program through grant funding; community outreach into schools for humane education; increasing membership with the utilization of online tools such as monthly automatic contributions and continuing to restore the Society to full financial health.

It was noted that 2014 had been a very difficult year but that things are very slowly beginning to turn around and thanks to community support and grant funding for programs and services the organization is back in the black, although just barely. Ongoing support remains necessary as it will be a long time before income has fully stabilized.

The presentation can be viewed as a pdf by clicking HERE (Caution: it is a large file and may take a few moments to load)

HSOAC To Launch Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic

Thanks to a grant from the Albert Schweitzer Animal Welfare Fund, beginning on Monday, January 26, 2015 the Humane Society of Allen County will open the doors to a new low-cost spay and neuter clinic.

The clinic will serve pet owners who are otherwise unable to afford to have their pets spayed and neutered thereby helping these pet parents to avoid the heartbreak of unwanted kittens and puppies being born with nowhere to go.

In addition to low-cost spay and neuter services the clinic will also offer testing for heartworm, feline leukemia and FIV (also known as feline AIDS) as well as vaccinations.

Services will be by appointment only and clinic hours are limited to Mondays at the present time. Additional grant funding is being actively sought to expand the clinic hours of operation.

Thanks to the Plumbers & Pipefitters!

Shelter heroes come in all shapes and sizes and cover a wide-range of “missions”. We are truly grateful to each and every one of them from the smallest child who collects pennies to the wonderful adults who roll up their sleeves and repair things.

Today we’d like to extend our deep appreciation to the Plumbers and Pipefitters of Local 776

These wonderful guys came in and got to work. Last winter we had several pipes burst from the freezing conditions and the Plumbers and Pipefitters are making sure that this won’t happen again. Pipes have been insulated; damaged ceiling tiles replaced and vents added so that passive heat can help offset the cold. In addition to that they are working to help clear out drains in our kennel areas, repairing equipment and even purchasing some needed parts. None of this wonderful work has cost the Humane Society a thing and we are deeply grateful and humbled by their generosity.

These amazing volunteers have given of their time, their muscle, their expertise and their own funds to help our animals. We simply, truly can NOT thank them enough!

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 776

October/November Director’s Message

It’s hard to imagine that I have now been director for 6 months.

So many positive things have happened in such a short time. The shelter has reconnected with our community in a big and much needed way. Memberships have grown, donations are up, and our fundraisers to date have been successful.

For so long, no one knew about the hardships the shelter was having. The people that helped build the Humane Society (literally) from the ground up had fallen away due to lack of communication.  As those connections broke down, so did the support the shelter needed to maintain financial stability.

I want to thank the Allen County community for responding to the needs of the Humane Society in such an awesome way! I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of compassion and help the shelter is receiving!

Thanks to your help, we are beginning to get our finances back on track. Debts are being paid, bills are becoming current, and where necessary payment plans have been put in place. The current shelter fiscal health is beginning to look up.

But we aren’t out of the woods yet, far from it  Continued help from the community is needed to keep the shelter steady at a sustainable level for the future. Bills and medical needs are an ongoing concern. We are implementing new programs (like the low cost spay/neuter project) that will create a small source of income and also researching new grants to help sponsor  those programs. However, a large portion of our funding depends upon the generosity of each of you.

Please continue to support the animals of Allen County.

Become a member. Donate. Volunteer. Attend our events and fundraisers. Adopt. Foster. Share our story and mission. Be a part and make a difference!

 

Thank you!

 

Patches and Friends … Why the HSOAC Exists

The Humane Society of Allen County is more than a home for the homeless, abused and neglected animals of Allen County. Our mission covers much more than providing shelter. The follow three animals came to us recently and are perfect examples of the importance of our mission.

Patches, a sweet kitten, embodies why we do what we do. She is why our staff and volunteers come in every day. Why our Board advocates for your support. Why the HSOAC exists.

Patches - Back Burns

This adorable kitten came to us one recent Saturday with awful burns from what appeared to be candle wax. She lost a lot of fur as a result but despite her injuries this little girl wanted nothing more than to snuggle up and purr. Once she’s healed she’ll be a loving addition to her forever home. You can follow her story on our Facebook page as we post her progress.

11-1-1 Callie b

Little Callie was found in a dumpster. Barely five weeks old this tiny baby was abandoned in the trash. Two kind souls found her and brought her to  us. She’s getting loving care as she learns to walk and play. She has a thick coat and will probably be a long haired beauty when she grows up.

11-1-4 Mandy

Mandy was found tied up outside to our flagpole of all places. Very thin this puppy is extremely loving and even knows some basic commands. We’ll never know why her people left her with us but we’re determined to find her a loving home, hopefully for the holidays.

These stories are why the shelter matters, why your generous support is critical to savings lives and making a difference. If you aren’t already a member please consider joining, if you are a member please renew your commitment to animals like these.

This is your shelter, these are your animals. Won’t you help us so that we can help them and so many others like Patches, Callie and Mandy?