Writer and Photographer / Amanda DeBusk
If you haven’t visited recently, the Humane Society of Johnson County (HSJC) is a happening place to be. In 2014, 305 cats and dogs were placed in new forever homes!
Last year, this organization was on the brink of shut down. Since they are a not-for-profit and not supported at all by tax dollars, HSJC relies heavily on personal funding, mainly through donations and fundraisers. Luckily, before their doors were shut, they received an endowment that allowed them to keep their facility open to serve the Johnson County area.
While the endowment was able to keep the doors of the HSJC open, they have ongoing needs that need community support in order to meet them.
As of today, the majority of animals housed at the HSJC are feline, but one of the opportunities created by the endowment was the addition of facilities for some canine companions as well. Chuck Shoemake, treasurer of the board, could not have been more proud as he showed the space that will house the resident dogs.
Space is limited though, and HSJC is still in great need of foster homes, especially for dogs. While acting as support in the foster program, foster parents are able to play an important role in determining the temperaments of all types, from loving and docile cuddlers to more spunky personalities that may require some special care. Foster homes need to be available to bring their animals to various weekend adoption events.
The weekend availability for attending adoption events is of vital importance to candidates in order to show these dogs’ needs to the people who want to take them in and give them forever homes. If they never get a chance to go on owner dates, how are they ever going to find someone with whom they can settle down?
While acting as a catalyst to find cats and dogs their forever homes, HSJC has several programs that allow them to fulfill their mission of enriching the quality of life for animals, their owners and the community.
One of the most popular programs is the low cost spay and neuter clinic available through a partnership with Pets Alive of Bloomington. This program takes place the first Wednesday of every month and is limited to the first 60 applicants (pre-registration is available on the HSJC website). Through this program, pets are dropped off at the HSJC location (with proof of their rabies vaccine) on the day they are scheduled for surgery and picked up the following afternoon. In 2014, this partnership program allowed for the low cost spaying and neutering of 77 dogs and 199 cats.
Another program that is gaining popularity is the Trap/Neuter/Release effort. In this effort, feral cat populations are trapped, brought in to be neutered and then released back into their environments. If feral populations are merely removed, then new feral populations just move in to replace them. By releasing the animals back into their environments after being neutered, a larger population is avoided.
HSJC also provides a Pet Food Pantry. Its main function is to help feed animals that would otherwise be surrendered when their owners are in financial hardship. Open the first Monday of every month from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the food pantry distributed over 20,000 pounds of food in 2014.
HSJC has two main events upon which they rely for continued funding. The first is a Critter Classic golf outing, currently scheduled for June 18, 2015, at Hillview Country Club in Franklin. For more information, please contact Kim Pauszek at email@example.com. The second event doesn’t even require your presence, just a good bit of audience participation. The “Do Nothing Ball” runs for the month of December and calls for donations any day, any time, any place.
Outside of these two events, HSJC is in need of great support from the community in the areas of volunteers, foster homes, direct donations of items on the organizational wish list and friends to shop using “Amazon Smile” with HSJC as the recipient of donations.
For more information, please visit hsjc.org.