Greetings to All!
The Humane Society is often viewed as a place strictly for helping animals in need. That is certainly true as we consider the 4,400 animals that were admitted to the shelter in 2016; however, what many individuals don’t know is the outreach that occurs to support people in need, as well.
Pets are a significant connection in pet owners’ lives. When an individual encounters an emergency (hospital, accident, house fire, domestic violence), they often lack immediate support to care for their beloved pet who (to them) is a family member. The Humane Society’s Safe Home Program has provided sighs of relief to pet owners experiencing crisis ensuring they have access to a no-cost program allowing their pets to stay at the shelter for 10 days until other arrangements are made. Taking the initial stress off of these individuals allows them to concentrate on the emergency at hand.
Additionally, as the Humane Society receives calls to respond to animals in need, we frequently encounter humans in need. In hoarding situations, individuals are living in squalor and unhealthy conditions that require intervention by such groups as Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services as well as access to mental health professionals.
We have encountered individuals who lack the resources for their own care with no electrical service, no heat, and little resources for food and basic needs. Again, the shelter helps by contacting or providing information to appropriate services to support these individuals including the shelter’s Red Barn resale shop which helps with clothing and other possible household needs.
Most recently, we responded to a call of possible animal neglect and found that the individual was suffering from depression and alcoholism. The home was strewn with empty liquor containers, trash, fecal matter, and obvious signs of animal neglect. Working in tandem with law enforcement, we were able to secure the animal and ensure its care while providing the owner with information and resources to address his personal needs.
Volunteers, board members, law enforcement, other animal welfare groups, community agencies, donors and individual supporters, and staff members all work together to create a comprehensive approach to support the Elkhart County area. We thank those of you who have been, and continue to be, a part of this great community team. We accomplish great things together!
Thank you for your support,
President, Board of Directors
Anne K. Reel