We are here because our community needs us

Editor’s note: Shelter Scoop is a column by the Huntingdon County Humane Society, which serves Mifflin as well as Huntingdon counties. It appears monthly on The Sentinel’s Friday Lifestyles page.

By pat kepple

In a perfect world Huntingdon County Humane Society would lock the doors and walk away because our services are no longer necessary. Sadly, that’s not the case today and probably won’t be in the foreseeable future. The services we provide to Huntingdon and Mifflin counties remain as indispensable as ever. In other words — you need us. And we need you.

Let me share some facts. In 2017 (final numbers for 2018 are not yet available) we cared for over 350 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies. Most were strays; others were owner surrenders. Because we are an open admission facility, we take them all. Once they arrive, each animal is evaluated for health concerns, administered rabies and other vaccines, and provided spay or neuter surgery as needed. They are given regular medications, such as flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. And, of course, if it is determined the animal needs treatment or medication for special conditions, those are provided. These services are in addition to the day-to-day care of the animals and the facility: providing food and water; walking the dogs several times a day; replacing cat litter; cleaning kennels, cat rooms, hallways, etc.; washing load after load after load of blankets, towels and toys; thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all areas; and spending quality one-on-one time with the animals to ensure they remain accustomed to human touch. These duties are performed each and every day, seven days a week, regardless of weather, with a very limited staff.

All of this is done with one simple goal in mind — to make sure our four-legged guests are as healthy and comfortable as possible until we find each one a happy home. That’s our number one priority and we work tirelessly to accomplish that goal in a variety of ways. We encourage local folks to consider adoption rather than buying from a breeder. We work with other rescues in the area to find the perfect match for every animal lover. We encourage foster care whenever possible. We reach out on social media through Facebook, Petfinder and Instagram to broaden our base of adopters.

Why am I telling you this? Because the services we provide come with a higher price tag each year and the adoption fees we can realistically charge don’t begin to pay for all of the services we provide. Because we are now faced with a significant renovation project to keep the shelter up to standard. Because we do all of this without receiving funding from any national or government organizations. In short, because we depend solely on our local community to keep us afloat.

Your continued support over the years has saved many, many lives. We hope we can continue to depend on you. Whether you donate money or supplies, renew your membership or become a member for the first time, volunteer at the shelter, foster a feline or canine companion, support our fundraising events or plan a fundraising event yourself — however you choose to support us we welcome you. To get more information on all of the opportunities available to you, check out our website, huntingdonhumanesociety.com; visit our Facebook page; or call the shelter at (814) 643-7387.

Thank you for helping us to make the future a brighter one for the homeless animals in YOUR community. Let’s keep working together with the hope that one day our services will no longer be needed because every pet will have a home.

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Pat Kepple is a volunteer at the Huntingdon County Humane Society.

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