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Humane society needs help

By Barry and Hillary Anthony
September 29, 2011

We are the owners of Books & Prints at Pear Alley in Milford, PA. Recently, a Pike County Humane Society (PCHS) volunteer stopped in for a donation for their Tricky Tray fundraiser on October 1. We are always willing to help the shelter whenever we can. We have a donation jar in the store and hold an annual Christmas drive. Most people know we adopted our black standard poodle Grace through them. Knowing donations for them have been down, we inquired how things were for them financially.

We were heartbroken and saddened to learn of the continued financial struggle they are facing. As we chatted with the volunteer, we learned they receive no monies from either the American Humane Society or ASPCA. All those sad TV commercials you see asking for donations—none of it goes to the local shelter. They receive no monies from United Way or other similar agencies; although a nonprofit, they do not qualify.

Some local boroughs and townships that used to donate to PCHS have now cut those donations from their budgets. However, if a stray is picked up in one of those non-donating boroughs or townships, the shelter will always accept them. Imagine if the shelter would not take them. Imagine unspayed and unneutered feral cats and dog packs that could potentially roam the woods. Imagine the disease these animals could spread. Imagine the horrific conditions these animals would have to endure.

The shelter has enormous bills. Imagine their electric bill, water bill, or food bill. As the volunteer told us, “it’s not like we can just close for a few days to save some costs.” Imagine what it must be like to decide whether or not to clean cages, clean bedding, or keep heat and lights on, or feed the animals.

The Pike County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and has an impressive high adoption rate of over 95%. The board of directors, shelter director Barry Heim and the numerous volunteers are to be commended for their tireless efforts. Their entire financial stability relies completely on fundraising events and donations. The PCHS service area covers all of Pike County, and some of Wayne and Monroe counties. As of 2009, there were 103,047 households, and those numbers are growing. These three counties are the fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania. Imagine if each household— not member of the population, but household—would donate only $1 a year to the Pike County Humane Society. Just imagine what the shelter could do. Just imagine.