The Greater Hillsdale Humane Society’s 28th annual Wiggle Waggle Pet Walk-a-Thon raised an estimated $1,500 in donations to help cover the monthly costs of its animal shelter on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Housing about 150 dogs and cats, the animal shelter’s monthly bills average between $10,000 and $12,000. The Humane Society, a nonprofit, does not receive any government funds, making fundraising a financial priority for the organization.
“Events like this one are very important because the animal shelter is run strictly on donations,” Humane Society president Dawn Hoard said. “We really appreciate all the help we get from the community.”
During the two hour event, held at the Owens Memorial Park of Baw Beese Lake, owners walked their dogs in two 1.5 mile loops, played games with their pooches — such as a pup-friendly version of musical chairs — and celebrated their pets with fellow animal lovers. The Humane Society recognized the three highest pledgers with plaques from Countryside Trophies & Awards.
Hillsdale dog owner Jerri Lynn May said she brought her pet pug, Blueberry, to the Walk-a-Thon to support the Humane Society.
“The Humane Society is a good cause,” May said. “Obviously they need help until every animal has a forever home.”
In addition to Blueberry, May owns three other dogs she rescued from the Humane Society’s animal shelter.
Adoptions like May’s are the animal shelter’s only source of income outside of fundraising. A minimum fee of $150 is required with each adoption, and the shelter frequently promotes rescues through discounts, such as 75 percent off the adoption fee for senior cats.
Humane Society treasurer, Kathy Koshelnyk, said the shelter’s highest bill is for veterinary services — between $2,000 and $3,000 a month — as every animal the shelter takes in must be spayed, neutered, and vaccinated. The Humane Society employs three part-time employees and one full-time employee to keep the shelter staffed around the clock. Bills for medication, insurance, utilities, gas, and cleaning supplies make up the rest of the monthly average.
The Koshelnyk family rescued their dog Maddie, a golden retriever, from the animal shelter after she was left abandoned and tied up to the shelter door.
“Maddie is the reason we got involved with the Humane Society,” animal shelter volunteer Bill Koshelnyk said. “She’s a real lover.”
Students interested in volunteering at the animal shelter can contact the humane society’s GOAL program leader, Cecily Parell, at email@example.com to find out how they can help.