Ribbon Cut

Humane Society of Logan County celebrates two milestone anniversaries

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[October 05, 2021]   Saturday, October 2nd was a special day at the Humane Society of Logan County. The annual open house and pet blessing was held, but in addition, there was a celebration of not one, but two milestone anniversaries for the organization.

The HSLC was first celebrating its 15-year anniversary of the creation to provide a no kill solution for those who are in a position where they can no longer keep their pets. The second anniversary celebration marked the 10th year of the shelter facility built at 1801 East Lincoln Parkway.

To commemorate the milestone anniversaries, the HSLC requested a ribbon cut just prior to the annual blessing of the animals.

Emcee Nila Smith kicked off the ribbon cutting by explaining the reason for the cut. “Fifteen years ago, some very smart and compassionate people decided that it was time to establish a no kill shelter in Logan County. What we love about this is that instead of sitting around and talking about it they became doers. That is what this community needs, people who instead of sitting around and talking about it, they get the job done. And, they did it so well that five years later they opened this beautiful center. This is where they house animals and this is where they lay animals to rest whenever their days are done. So this is a beautiful thing and we want to congratulate them for all the hard work they have done over the last 15 years, to make this a piece of pride for our community.”

Those present for the cut included all the HSLC board officers: President Lynnette Maske, Vice-president Marilyn Wheat, Treasurer Judy Conzo, Secretary Victoria Padilla, along with board member Kay Armbruster and several of the HSLC volunteers. Joining the HSLC group behind the ribbon were Lincoln Aldermen and Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bateman and Rick Hoefle, Lincoln City Clerk Peggy Bateman, 2021 Miss Logan County Fair Queen Caroline Ahrends, 2021 Junior Miss Logan County Alayna Briggs, Logan County Tourism Director Alice Roate, Karen Hargis of Lincoln Daily News, and special guest Senator Sally Turner.

After introductions Senator Turner spoke. “I’m honored to be here today. It is a fabulous facility. Marilyn (Wheat) took me around to show me all the attributes of this facility, and I didn’t realize that you have a resting place for not only animals but individuals here. These fine people do such hard work and are so loving toward the animals. All of us know how important our animals are to us, all of us have a loving part of our heart for our animals, our fur babies as we call them. I just want to thank them for all they do in our community.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bateman echoed Senator Turner's sentiments, adding. “It is an honor to have a something this nice in a town this size. You usually don’t get facilities like this in a town this size. It bodes well; the compassion and the work that goes into this to have something like this, to have it in Lincoln.”

Board President Lynnette Maske held one of the pets that is currently in the care of the shelter. She said he was a favorite and she wanted to make sure he got into the picture. In addition there was one other shelter pet in the picture. Kay Armbruster had her personal fur baby in her arms as she had brought the little dog to be blessed after the ribbon cutting.

Maske said that first and foremost she needed to thank all the volunteers at the shelter who served daily caring for the animals and making sure they were watered and fed. She spoke about the work of the volunteers, three shifts to care for the dogs and two shifts for the cats. She also took a moment to plug for more volunteers. People are always needed to help care for the pets, work with adoptive pet parents, and care for the facility. She said anyone who wanted to think about volunteering was encouraged to grab a volunteer application while visiting inside the shelter.

With the speeches completed it was time to snip the ribbon. With three board members holding animals, the task of manning the scissors was delegated to Senator Turner with one-handed assistance from Armbruster.

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Afterward all were invited to go in, tour the facility, enjoy some refreshments and visit with the animals and volunteers.

Soon after the cut had finished a very special visitor arrived. Ellen Burbage was one of the founding board members of the HSLC. She served on the board continually until just about a year ago when she stepped down.

Ellen is a cancer warrior and has been very ill as she fights her battle. All around the front parking lot, volunteers at the shelter were excited to see Ellen arrive and welcomed her with hugs and tears.

Father Dondanville from Holy Family Catholic Church had been invited to perform the blessing of the animals. At the last minute, he had to cancel and Father Fulgens graciously agreed to step in.

To start off the blessing he offered a prayer and sprinkled two pets outside with water, then moved inside to perform similar blessings on the cat rooms, then the dog kennels.

Afterward, he and the board members went outside to the gazebo and scatter garden in the pet cemetery behind the center. Board member Padilla scattered the ashes of a pet lost this past year while Father Fulgens offered a prayer over the garden and the animals who are laid to rest there.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the sweet treats provided by the HSLC and entertaining visitors who came to tour the shelter and visit the animals.

The HSLC is not funded by any state or federal grants. They rely completely on donations and community support to keep the doors open. It costs about $100,000 per year to operate the shelter. The lion’s share of that money goes to taking care of the animals, including veterinary bills, food and medications. All pets are spayed or neutered before adopted out. Those with special needs are cared for separately and the HSLC is always seeking people who will foster an animal with special needs.

Inside the shelter on Saturday, volunteers stood watch, ready to assist anyone who was interested in purchasing several pet related items and shelter merchandise. There was also a donation box for anyone wishing to drop a dollar or two inside.

The shelter is managed completely by volunteers, there are no paid staff members. As stated earlier, there is always a need for volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about the Humane Society of Logan County visit their website at
Home | Humane Society of Logan County, Illinois (hslclincoln.org)

[Nila Smith]

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