The dozen members of the HSLC
working on this Saturday were in high spirits. The buzz around the
tents set up to handle four-legged customers and their owners was
that another Humane Society dog had been adopted.
The group likes to use the vernacular "a forever home" to note
when a cat or dog they have saved makes it to a loving family. The
news gave everyone a lift as they worked to wet down, lather up,
then rinse and dry the dogs, who for the most part reveled in
getting soaking wet after such a hot week.
The dog wash was the society's third of the season. The washes,
which are growing in popularity among dog owners as well as the
dogs, are becoming another staple in the organization's efforts to
garner enough funds to build and operate a shelter for animals at
risk in Logan County.
The previous dog wash, in May, brought in almost $700 as members
gave baths to 57 pooches. This one looked to be heading toward a
similar success at the midway point of the day.
Our community is blessed with many organizations and worthy
causes attempting to do something for others in need, but an
individual would be hard-pressed to find another organization that
works as hard, or as often, as the Humane Society does.
Formed in the spring of 2006, the society almost immediately began
having fundraisers. Beginning in early spring and until late fall,
the society has at least two, often three events each month in order
to gather enough money to make a shelter a reality. In the colder
winter months, the group has bake sales, pancake and sausage
breakfasts, and more to keep their calendar of events active. Not a
month in the year goes by that the membership doesn't do something
to raise more money.
In the year 2008, members totaled over 8,500 hours of volunteer
work, and with all the society has on the calendar for the rest of
this year, that number will most likely be surpassed for 2009.
Besides being hard workers, the organization also is to be lauded
for their openness. Every dollar collected, every dollar spent is
recorded in their ledgers and is readily available for examination
by membership and the public. All meetings are open to the public.
As always, board members were open to talking about the society's
plans and finances. The group received a significant $200,000 seed
from the estate of Ethel Hoelscher, which was adjudicated in 2006.
Since that time, through membership dues, donations and all their
hard work the organization has increased that amount to $350,000.
But they know the job isn't done yet.
The organization knows they have enough money to build their
shelter, but they want to be sure they have enough money to continue
the operations once it is up and running. The board estimates that
even with volunteer staff helping at the shelter, it will take
$60,000 to $70,000 a year to keep the doors open. To receive every
benefit a not-for-profit is eligible to receive, their corporation
is making sure that all their paperwork is approved by the state.
This would help ensure that once the shelter is opened, it will
The intention of the HSLC is that once they have constructed an
animal shelter they would acquire animals from Logan County Animal
The animal control is a tax-supported facility commissioned to
keep pets from running loose. Their purpose is to provide service to
the county and contracted communities for enforcement of animal
control ordinances. Animals are kept at the facility for owner
retrieval or adoption for a limited time. Due to poor health, bad
dispositions, limited funding and high costs, some animals brought
there must be euthanized.
HSLC steps in when there are unfortunate animals that are
adoptable but scheduled to be euthanized. The society rescues these
pets and continues to work for their adoption.
When built, the HSLC shelter will be a low-kill shelter. This
means they will euthanize animals in extreme situations involving
serious illness or injury and only when it is determined that such
action is the most humane treatment.
Several of the volunteers at the wash said that although they
work often during weekends when others are taking it easy, they felt
good about spending their time helping animals. Every one who was
asked why they were members said that it was because of their
personal love for animals -- a love that requires they try to do all
they can to save as many dogs and cats at risk as possible. They
have also developed new friendships, a kinship as it were, with
other members, and they have found that the society has brought them
together with people they didn't know before. These friendships and
the bond they have gained with each other in their common purpose
has been an ancillary reward to knowing they have helped animals
have a chance at a full and rewarding life with a good family.
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The society hopes for the day that they can concentrate on working
at the shelter rather than spending so much time raising money. A
grant or bequest or large memorial to take the place of so many
fundraisers would be a welcome respite, but they don't plan on such
good fortune coming soon. Instead, as they say on their Web site,
"the Humane Society of Logan County will be having fundraising
events and programs ad infinitum, unless we receive enough
in major donations or bequests to make fundraising unnecessary --
The statement that their job might never be finished is echoed by
their membership in conversations. But it isn't stated with remorse
or sadness. Instead it is said with a determination to get a shelter
built that will remain viable for decades. That determination keeps
them working as long, as often and as hard as they do.
We regret that we don't have a tail we could wag at them, but it
is the effort and selfless determination of this society on the part
of our furry friends that makes us proud to make the Humane Society
of Logan County this week's Personality of the Week.
Note: HSLC is planning their first "Ales for Tails" fundraiser at
Chad's Blind on July 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets will be $25 and
include beer samples, snacks, a bag toss challenge and music by the
band Shifting Gears. If you would like to purchase tickets, please
call Sue Jones 217-732-9422. They hope to make this an annual event
and ask for your support.
If you would like more information on joining HSLC or making a
donation, you can visit
The Humane Society of Logan County is committed to the prevention
of cruelty, abuse and neglect of animals through its adoption
program, cruelty investigation, spay and neuter assistance program,
and humane awareness and education. The Humane Society of Logan
County is not affiliated with any state or national organization,
and all funds raised are used to further their mission in Logan
The purposes of the Humane Society
of Logan County are to:
abuse and neglect of animals.
placement (adoption) of animals.
Work toward the
solution of overpopulation of animals.
Educate the public about humane
treatment of animals.
The following programs have begun as
small, manageable programs and will expand as finances and
Foster care program
Cruelty investigation program
The following is the 2009 board for
the Humane Society of Logan County:
president-elect, public relations committee chair
adoption and foster homes counselor chair, membership committee
animal affairs committee
fundraising committee chair
administrative and finance committee chair
Dr. Lara Borgenson, adviser