Forms of funding
“I have been here longer than any other dog. Please give me my second chance,” a sign reads on the cage of 7-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback/Redbone Coonhound-mix Zoie.
Fortunately for animals like Zoie, things are looking up: Capital Area Humane Society received new grant funding, and adoption rates and volunteer numbers are high.
The humane society, located at 7095 W. Grand River Ave., is not funded by government. “We’re completely independent,” said development, events and grant manager Jamie Fuhr. “We don’t take tax money or anything like that.”
Fuhr said that their funding is comprised exclusively of donations from the public and the fees they collect for their services, including their adoption and spay and neuter fees.
PetSmart Charities recently awarded Capital Area Humane Society a $135,000 grant payable over two years, according to Fuhr.
“This grant will end up spaying and neutering about 2,400 cats,” Fuhr said. “And this is actually the second phase that we’re doing.” Two years ago, they received a grant that allowed them to spay and neuter 2,800 cats.
Fuhr said the Capital Area Humane Society team hopes this grant will alleviate the problem with strays in Lansing. “Our end goal after these two years, when we finish this grant, will be that 50 percent of the cats in the city of Lansing will be spayed and neutered,” she said. “We’re hoping to make a really big impact.” Along with spay and neuter services, Fuhr said, the grant also includes a rabies vaccine and a microchip for each cat.
Fuhr said that anyone who wants to take advantage of the grant to spay a cat must be a city resident who lives in the zip codes 48906, 48912, 48915 and 48933. “Even though you might have that zip code, if you’re outside the city limits, you’re not eligible.”
Those who do not qualify can still benefit from the low-cost spay and neuter services at the organization’s clinic on South Cedar Street.
The grant will help the society deal with the serious problem of too many cats and too few homes. Most of the organization’s intakes are cats. Fuhr said that the poor economy means more families are surrendering more animals.
“We don’t have any time limits on our animals here, so once an animal goes up for adoption, it’s up for adoption until it gets adopted,” Fuhr said.
“Therefore, we do have a waiting list for cats since that’s all based on the number of adoptions we do,” she said. “The more adoptions we do, the more cats we can take in.”
Fortunately, adoption rates at Capital Area Humane Society are currently high. “We had our most successful adoption year in 2013,” said Fuhr.
In order to accommodate the many animals they house on their limited budget, Capital Area Humane Society keeps a healthy volunteer base of about 2,300 active volunteers, according to Fuhr.
She said volunteer involvement spans from coming in every day to just once per month, “but every little bit helps…we would not exist without the volunteers that we have.”
As long as they attend a volunteer orientation, anyone eight years and older can get involved, Fuhr said. However, children ages eight to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Fuhr said there are a number of opportunities for adults and children alike, including an after-school club, summer camps and spring break camps. Volunteers provide “T.L.C., which is just walking dogs, petting cats – giving them the human interaction they need,” Fuhr said.
Three such volunteers are a mother and her two daughters, who wished to remain anonymous. They visited the humane society for their first time last Saturday, and attended the orientation so they could become volunteers.
“We’re going to walk the dogs,” the two daughters said in unison.
“And sometimes we can go into the special room with the bunnies so they can exercise their legs in there,” the younger sister added.
The mother said that out of all the dogs and cats they own, only one was adopted from a humane society. However, the family fostered another that they found on their doorstep and rescued two more from other bad situations.
She said that she is glad to have her two daughters volunteer with other worthy animals so that they can “give them some love, attention.”