2014 was a record breaking year for Best Friends Humane Society in Worth County. Nearly 700 dogs and cats were placed in loving homes through adoption or transfer to another agency for placement – an increase of 300 animals over 2013 numbers! Our Animal Control Officers responded to 984 calls, 81 of those calls were bite cases. There were two significant animal seizures totaling 49 dogs – of which 34 were adopted into their forever homes. Each year the number of animal pickups, owner surrenders and bite cases continue to grow, stretching our limited funds further and further.
As we approach the 4th anniversary of the shelter opening, we face the same old challenges, how to do more with less. A number of factors at the end of last year put a severe strain on our already stretched available finances and we are left with a serious situation.
This Fiscal Year, an increase in funding was requested from the County to meet the rapidly rising number of animal cases, but in the end, funds received from Worth County were cut by $500 per month due to the Commissioner’s budget situation. We were left with no increase and a loss of $500 each month.
The increased number of animals processed through BFHS in 2014 translates to additional costs in many areas. As everyone driving a vehicle is aware, it wasn’t long ago that gas prices were over and above all expectations. Worth County is one of the largest in the state and has more miles to cover. More calls mean more gas for Animal Control vehicles. More animals also equates to more medications needed. BFHS purchases vaccines at a much lower price than that available to the general public, but those prices increased along with the number animals requiring them.
The unique requirements of a shelter operation require three separate septic tanks in two separate systems for the facility. When any part of those systems is down, it is a very serious problem, as you can imagine. Unbudgeted repairs of $2,500 were recently completed, and another $1,500 of work is pending.
To recover from the cost of these setbacks, the shelter needs the help of our members, our friends and our neighbors. While we have an ambitious schedule of fundraising activities and events over the coming year aimed at putting us in a better financial position, that won’t address the immediate cash flow problem. We need $5,000 by the end of February. Your donation, a little, or a lot, will make the difference. We don’t make this request lightly. Please help BFHS continue to help the animals of Worth County.
The Board of Directors and the shelter staff appreciate your consideration. Thank you.
For more information, contact the shelter at 229-777-7774 or www.bfhsworth.com.