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HSLC holds blessing of the animals, dedicates new gazebo and scatter garden

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[October 10, 2014]  LINCOLN - On Saturday afternoon, Mother Nature was less than cooperative when it came to holding an outdoor event. The high temperature for the day never reached 60 degrees, and it was quite windy. Nonetheless, several folks gathered at the Humane Society of Logan County for the Blessing of the Animals, and the dedication of the shelter's new gazebo and scatter garden.

The day began with the group of guests making their way out to the gazebo. Board president Ellen Burbage welcomed guests and remembered some of the animals that have come to the shelter, but passed before they received an adopted family. She mentioned those animals would be memorialized in the scatter garden.

The program was turned over to Father Fontana of the Holy Family Catholic Church in Lincoln. Father Fontana read from the scriptures, verses that related to God’s creatures. He then blessed the gazebo with a sprinkling of Holy Water.

Moving out onto the lawn near the scatter garden, Father Fontana also blessed and dedicated the new garden. Afterward, he offered individual blessing to the animals on hand.

HSLC director Mary Dowdel then led a group of volunteers in scattering the ashes of animals that have passed while living at the shelter. Each volunteer came forward and named the animal and said what date the animal died. He or she then went forward and scattered the ashes around the rose bushes in the scatter garden.

Afterward, the group moved back up to the shelter area, where Father Mark Evans of Trinity Episcopal Church delivered a mass blessing to all the animals present.

Guests were then invited inside the shed adjacent to the shelter for refreshments and a time of visiting, and allowing pets to interact.

Marilyn Wheat and Judy Conzo had a display for the pet cemetery in the cemetery office area of the shed. Leslie Hoefle had a display for the latest fundraiser of the HSLC, a T-shirt sales campaign. Heofle said the campaign was going pretty well. She estimated that between cash donations and shirt orders, the HSLC had already made about $600. The campaign will continue until around October 24th.

For those who may be interested in supporting HSLC through the shirt campaign, orders can be placed online at
unitedfurever  The shirts are a dark blue with gray printing and a teal colored paw. The shirts say, “United Fur Ever” on the front and “My pets are family, and they deserve to be with me forever” on the back.

The shirts emphasize the special bond between pets and their people, and also draws attention to one special opportunity offered through the HSLC Pet Cemetery. Because HSLC recognizes the love people have for their pets, they have developed a program that will allow pet and owner cremains to be buried together in the Pet Cemetery.

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The Humane Society of Logan County is a not-for-profit organization that is run primarily by volunteers, with the only paid employee, its director now filled by Dowdel. Volunteers are always welcome and needed. Tasks that can be performed by the volunteers can be based on ability and time available. One activity that was discussed among guests and current volunteers Saturday afternoon was the need for the shelter animals to have human contact, love and attention. Someone who has time to come in and interact with the animals, hold a kitten, walk a dog, or offer some play time is greatly appreciated.

The shelter is supported primarily through donations and fundraisers. One of its biggest fundraisers each year is the annual HSLC garage sale, held in the summer during the Route 66 garage sales in Lincoln. The HSLC also hosts an annual soup luncheon at Friendship Manor in Lincoln.

There are other smaller fundraisers throughout the year, and some of the local schools have in the past conducted food drives for the animals.

On the HSLC website, there is a “wish list” of daily need products that can be donated by anyone at any time. The list includes Purina Pet Foods for dogs, cats and kittens, flea control products, and kitty litter.
The list of needs for the animals includes specific information on acceptable name-brands of certain products. So before making a purchase be sure to check out the wish list on the HSLC website.

The wish list also includes maintenance items such as duct tape, garden hoses and extension cords, as well as office supplies.

Anyone who is interested in contributing to HSLC can learn more by visiting the HSLC website or by contacting Mary Dowdel at (217) 737-4042.

[Nila Smith]


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