Beaver County Humane Society Holding Fundraisers to Make Up Budget Shortfall
Mar 01, 2017 08:26AM
By Erica Cebzanov
Beaver County Humane Society's new state-of-the-art animal care facility
Since 1950, the Beaver County Humane Society (BCHS) has served the community by protecting and caring for domestic animals and offering outreach programs.
The nonprofit moved to its current 14,000 sq. ft. Center Township location four years ago. Executive Director Susan Salyards said the complex–which has space for 250 dogs, cats and small animals—includes outdoor runs and walking trails for dogs, a small animal area, kennels, a surgical suite and veterinary clinic, isolation areas and a pet boutique.
“It’s a state-of-the-art animal care facility, and we think it provides an opportunity for community involvement, humane education, better areas for animal enrichment and enhances visitors’ experiences,” she said.
Since relocating, Salyards said that adoptions have increased by 110 percent, with 1,791 adoptions taking place in 2016. Adoption fees, which include spaying or neutering, vaccines and microchips, range from $50 to $200 depending on the species, age and the amount of time the animal has spent at the shelter.
In addition to caring for animals and facilitating adoptions, the shelter employs the county’s only trained humane officer, who investigates more than 400 reports of animal cruelty and neglect annually. BCHS hopes that by educating community organizations, it may foster a sense of responsibility and respect towards all living creatures.
“We talk about animal cruelty issues, dog laws in Pennsylvania, and spaying and neutering, which is important,” said Sponsorship, Events and Social Media Manager Mike Romigh. “It’s important to educate the community, as well as let them know what the goal of the Beaver County Humane Society is in their community.”
The BCHS maintains a pet food bank to help families in need and also provides emergency/indigent pet care by working with the Beaver County Office of Aging to care for the pets of elderly residents receiving emergency care. BCHS also works with the women’s shelter to assist in providing shelter for pets of victims of domestic violence or homelessness until their living arrangements can be determined.
The BCHS offers low-cost vaccinations and microchip services for dogs and cats and low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for pet cats. Additionally, the shelter provides low-cost, trap-neuter-release (TNR) program options for people seeking to trap, vaccinate and spay or neuter feral or stray cats. Dog owners also may register their pets for the shelter’s training classes.
According to Salyards, the nonprofit is facing a deficit to its $1.7 million budget for the 2017 calendar year because Beaver County commissioners cut a $50,000 grant.
“Unless shortfalls are made up, this could possibly result in curtailing vital services,” she explained, adding that the shelter does not receive financial funding from any national animal welfare organization such as the Humane Society of the United States.
Romigh recently joined the staff to spearhead additional fundraising efforts. “Everybody knows that there is a lot of competition for charitable dollars,” he said. “We are trying to educate people about the Beaver County Humane Society and all of the services that it provides, and ask for contributions.”
The Beaver County Humane Society’s thrift store in Beaver Falls is its largest fundraising initiative, and has a goal of generating $225,000 this year. The nonprofit also launched a personalized brick fundraiser in order to increase donations.
A Tea for Tails luncheon event on April 23 at the Center Township Fire Hall will serve as another fundraiser. Tickets for the 1:30 p.m. event are $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight. The event will feature lunch, mimosas, raffles, auctions and prizes for the “finest” hats. Tickets are available through the shelter’s website.
To donate, volunteer, adopt or learn about BCHS’ services, visit www.beavercountyhumanesociety.org.