Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake raises $14,000 on its way to $25,000 needed by month’s end to avert a shutdown
By David Webb
The Monitor Correspondent
SEVEN POINTS–The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake has raised $14,000 since it launched an emergency fundraising campaign two weeks ago to avoid closing its doors.
The 30-year-old animal shelter kicked off the campaign Sept. 7, after advising supporters in an e-mail it had only enough money to stay open for three more weeks. Shelter officials attributed the financial crisis to declining donations and escalating costs to care for increasingly larger numbers of homeless animals.
“The shelter is in immediate need of $25,000 to operate,” volunteer organizer Leslie Casey said at a volunteer meeting at the Seven Points Dairy Queen Thursday, Sept. 19 that attracted 17 people. “The good news is we are more than half-way there.” The goal is to raise the money by Sept. 30.
Casey noted the emergency funding is only the first step in saving the shelter. Volunteers are helping the shelter with business advice, and a political liaison is working “behind the scenes” with Henderson and Kaufman Counties officials in an effort to obtain more funding.
Henderson and Kaufman counties now maintain contracts with the shelter providing annual payments of $13,000 and $75,000, respectively for the care of seized stray animals.
Casey said a recent “call to action” by shelter supporters had gained the attention of county judges and commissioners.
“They heard us,” Casey said. “I think some of them got a little angry with us and asked for the calls to stop.”
Casey said that in addition to the financial crisis, the shelter needs more members of the community to volunteer with tasks such as bathing and walking dogs, petting cats, transporting pets to rescue groups, grounds work, phone work, help at adoption and community outreach events and foster pet care. The volunteer meeting Thursday was the first of what will be monthly meetings for volunteers to socialize and share ideas, she said.
“We want to make it cool and fashionable to take care of animals,” Casey said.
She noted, it appears that there is some “emergency fatigue” in the community because the poor economy of the area caused in part by the low-lake level has created so many crises.
“We are trying to get to the point of stability at the shelter,” she said.
Longtime shelter volunteer Barb Hall told the audience of current and new volunteers that the task of caring for animals is rewarding. “It’s amazing what goes on there,” she said. “I’m not going to tell you it is all nice. I tell everyone you have to put up with a lot of crap.”
Hall said it is sometimes difficult to deal with the people who are not animal lovers and just want to get rid of pets. The shelter is also working with Friends of the Animals, which is a low-cost spay neuter group, to help reduce the burgeoning homeless animal population.
Casey said whether someone is an animal lover or not, everyone should be concerned about the fate of the shelter. “The community needs a shelter in close proximity to take care of all the animals that are left at businesses and in our yards.”
Casey said shelter officials and volunteers plan now to concentrate on “holding our heads high and moving forward.”
Numerous adoption and fundraising events are planned in connection with businesses and community celebrations to raise money and adopt out animals. Visit hsccl.org/ and www.facebook .com/pages/Humane-Society-of-Cedar-Creek-Lake/155194581183469 for more.
To contribute to the emergency fund visit www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/hsccl-in-danger-of-closing-putting-animals-in-jeopardy-/86100.
Mail checks to Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake, P.O. Box 43531, Seven Points, TX 75143.
To volunteer, e-mail Casey at lesliecasey @gmail.com. Call (903) 432-3422 to reach the shelter.