HELP Humane Society's Foremost Needs
Guest Blogger - Miranda Mclaughlin, HELP Humane Society Volunteer
511 Main St., Belton, MO 64012
Phone: 816-318-HELP (4357)
HELP Humane Website
HELP Humane Blog
Find HELP Humane on Facebook
HELP Humane is a 501(c)(3) corporation committed to ending the suffering and killing of homeless, abused and neglected animals by rescuing, sheltering, rehabilitating and seeking forever families for these animals and educating the public on proper pet guardianship and the importance of spaying and neutering. HELP Humane Society sanctuaries the animals that are deemed unadoptable, by the public, either due to the animal’s physical or psychological circumstances.
#1 Shelter Buddies - Right now, our primary concern is Shelter Buddies. If we can get enough people to donate a total of $20,000 a month we could cover all of our expenses. I know it seems like a lot, but a couple of things contribute to these high costs... mainly vet care and the cost of renting our shelter.
We tried, and were very close (#6 nationally) at winning $250,000 in the Pepsi Refresh contest so that we could buy land and build a larger shelter. This would knock $3500 off of our monthly expenses and also reduce the amount we spend on utilities. As far as vet care goes, we do everything we can to reduce those expenses. Unlike some other shelters, we spay/neuter and give vaccinations to ALL of our animals as soon as they come through the doors of HELP. This is required so that they can enjoy a free roaming environment, rather than being kept in a cage. At another shelter they may wait until an animal is adopted before having them spayed/neutered and then part of the adoption fee goes towards covering that expense. We currently have over 100 cats at the shelter plus many others in foster homes. All of their vet care has been paid for through individual donations made to the shelter, the costs would then be recouped through the adoption fee.
Fairly often, we tend to take in the cases that others shy away from and more often than not those animals require expensive vet treatments. Situations like the 24 Abyssinians we rescued from a hoarder in 2008; Desiree, who was pulled from Independence AC and had to have both of her eyes removed; or Neosho, who when brought to us was so anemic from being eating alive by whip/hook worms and fleas, he had to be rushed to the ER for a blood transfusion. HELP is not the kind of group that can look at these poor animals faces and tell them "No".
We did also discover a link of companies that will match employee donations so we are hoping to point this out to people who may already be Shelter Buddies.
#2 Adoptions- Of course if we were able to adopt animals out more quickly that would help us bring in money to cover the animals expenses. Some months we will have 20 adoptions, other months we will have only a couple, it really varies. The shelter has been located on Main Street in Belton since 2005, however we are constantly hearing about people who even live in Belton and are not aware we are there. Main Street is not a heavily traveled street anymore and even though there are many merchants and monthly car shows, it is tough to make people realize we have animals available for adoption. Often they will travel miles to other shelters to look for their new family member. We have tried several ways of combating that. Aside from using Facebook, hosting many fundraisers, adopting our animals at the Belton Petsmart, HELP also at one time had a billboard on 71 highway to advertise. We have also recently gotten some local press with a couple of our events and our shelter makeover (RED Day from Keller Williams), but still we cannot seem to become more of a household name.
#3 Help with our annual Black Tail Affair- This will be the 4th year for our Black Tail Affair which is a formal dinner with a silent/live auction and dancing. Bryan Busby is our MC and this year we will feature Tanna Guthrie as our auctioneer. For the past few years we have had a DJ, but his equipment was damaged in a flood and we are looking into hiring a band this year. (In talks with GUS who also played at our Rock the Paw event in May) We are also now needing a photographer with indoor lighting equipment for the event, as the people who have donated time in years past are not able to help this year.
Finally one of the biggest things we need for the BTA is auction items. We are looking for individuals/businesses to donate items as well as volunteers to contact potential donors. We have a few things so far, but this event normally raises almost $20,000 and we really need that money to buy ourselves an extra month to obtain Shelter Buddies.