What has occurred at the Humane Society of the Delta the last few months? And what is happening right now?
Everything is basically being operated the same manner but there has been some changes. Beth Florek is currently the director of the HSD. Shauna Wewe, shelter manager, says currently the HSD has a lot more dogs than they used to have seeking forever homes.
"We currently have 39 adult dogs and 23 puppies occupying much of the space we have," commented Wewe.
According to Wewe many of the volunteers foster animals as well, providing them with food, shelter and some companionship until they find their forever homes.
Foster families are in the single digits as more and more animals are coming in the HSD doors requiring shots, tags, spaying or neutering, as well as everyday living necessities such as food, shelter, heat, and love.
"Currently, we're providing supplies to all those who have chosen to foster these animals and rely on donations to do so," commented Florek.
Wewe said many of the current guardians of these strays are being provided the supplies to continue housing them from their location until other arrangements can be made or they are adopted
The HSD is located at 8518 PC. 300 Road in Helena just off Little Rock Road next to the Enviro Tech expansion warehouse - the old MFA building.
The Humane Society of the Delta has deeded some of their existing property for an animal control center, which will be operated by the shelter side next door. “The Humane Society can only make do with what is available at this time whereas animal control will have the funding to provide the services that we can't,” commented Florek.
As the list of basic cleaning supplies, equipment, demands for bedding and issue with limited space continue to grow, the HSD is experiencing more demand with very little donations.
“We are always in need of bedding, cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, laundry detergent, bleach, garbage bags, and both wet and dry food for dogs," listed off Wewe.
Currently Wal-Mart and H & M have donated these valuable necessities to the HSD but they are currently seeking additional donations from the public.
HSD has employed 5 individuals and only have 4 volunteers on a regular basis to tend to the 100 pins a day, as well as feed, water, walk and love the animals that have found their way to the HSD.
“We have animals that have been here for over a year, which would have passed their expiration date so to speak at any other facility,” commented Wewe.
We just want everyone to realize that these sweet, good-natured animals have feelings and they seem to know when they haven't been picked to go to their forever homes. You really can see the pain in their eyes,” commented Wewe.
Page 2 of 2 - The HSD has applied for grants in the past in order to continue running their services and it is more than likely that they will continue to do so in the near future.
According to Wewe, each animal has to be checked for heartworms, vaccinated and spayed and neutered and their photos taken for documentation plus information must be provided detailing medicines, health concerns, age and personality trends (laid back, hyper, etc.)
Requirements for volunteers include continuous care for each animal including cleaning. Despite the overwhelming amount of work that lies ahead each day, the volunteers are happy to help these dependant animals and care for them like they are their own.
“So much must be done within the four hours that we are allowed to work in the morning and it does make a difference to the animals demeanor and behavior because they are being taken care of and loved by all the staff and volunteers here,” commented Wewe.
The HSD hates to turn away the animals that keep coming in but with the lack of space and funding needed to provide them food, clean bedding and every day cleaning supplies has caused them to become filled with more than can be accepted at this point.
“We still have to worry about what is coming in with each animal, whether it be diseases, heartworms or parvo. So far, we have had no outbreaks but that can all change as the weather gets warmer this spring,” said Wewe.
The HSD helps ensure that each animal is cared for before and after they are adopted. Each prospective adopter is required to consider what they want in their family pet or companion.
“We stress that bringing home an animal is just like bringing home a child,” stated Wewe. “You have to feed, nurture, and care for that animal as if they were your own children.”
According to HSD policy, applications must be filled out and the volunteers make environment inspections before the animal is adopted. HSD fees are required due to the prior vaccination and spaying and neutering of each animal.
“It's a small price to pay for the years of companionship and loyalty that each of these animals can provide for you and your loved ones,” concluded Wewe. “Give these animals the chance they deserve, they're just waiting to prove their worth.”