The Humane Society's Walk-a-Thon event, held at Owens Memorial Park. Katie Scheu/Collegian
The Humane Society’s Walk-a-Thon event, held at Owens Memorial Park.
Katie Scheu/Collegian

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 to find out how they can help.