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The Survivor Program

AT&T donates to Humane Society of Hamilton County

Writer / Allison Yates
Photographer / Brian Brosmer

A few months ago, the Humane Society of Hamilton County received a delivery. It was an eight-month old Yorkie in terrible condition. It was hit by a car and had severe head drama. Its owner, unable to pay the expensive vet bills, had no other choice but to surrender it. Then, a few weeks later, another dog — this one starved and abused — was thrown from a truck. It also found its way to the Humane Society.

Because of the Humane Society’s Survivor Program, neither of those pups passed away or were euthanized, something that most likely would have happened had they been taken to another shelter. The Humane Society of Hamilton County is the state’s only open-admission, no-kill shelter, meaning no animal is turned away and all are given another shot at life, even if they come in dire condition.

“If we feel the animals have another chance at life, we give it to them,” says Jane Risk, Director of Marketing at the Human Society of Hamilton County.

The Survivor Program saves the lives of animals that most would consider lost causes: dogs who have been severely injured or abused and whose caregivers don’t have the means to provide them the care they need. The shelter counts on a support network of several dedicated veterinarians, but they can’t work for free.

Therefore, the costs are fully-funded by the Humane Society, who rely on donations and fundraising. To their surprise, the shelter received a generous donation of $5,000 in July from AT&T to help continue the program’s life-saving work.

Noblesville resident Dave Hascall was the one responsible for this donation. As an AT&T ACE, he’s a volunteer on AT&T’s community forums. He was recently recognized by AT&T for his service to the community and given the chance to nominate a nonprofit of his choice to receive the donation. Moved by the shelter’s dedication to valuing animals’ lives and providing great community information, he naturally elected the Humane Society.

“Our organization will never turn away an animal because it requires expensive medical care,” says Rebecca Stevens, executive director of HSHC, in a July 2017 press release. “As you could imagine, caring for some of these badly-injured animals is incredibly costly. We so appreciate this support from AT&T, which will help ensure our four-legged friends are on the mend.”

“It’s a fantastic organization and obviously they do a lot of work,” says Steve Rodgers, Director-State Government Relations at AT&T.

The shelter is grateful for the $5,000 donation but notes they need even more community support for the program.

“Just that $5,000 alone would cover [that] little Yorkie that’s been injured, so it’s huge,” Risk says. “We need more of those. We need a lot more of those.”

The animals saved through the survivor program are just some of the 3,000 animals that arrive at the shelter each year. Luckily for these critters, the shelter has a 98 percent placement rate, according to their website. If it wasn’t for the Survivor Program, there wouldn’t be as many dogs in happy homes as there are today.

About Allison Yates

Allison is an English teacher and freelance writer who focuses on travel and human rights. She's a Hoosier from Fishers but has lived in Argentina, Spain and Australia.

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