Due to the generosity of sponsors, and a volunteer staff, the $65 camp fee collected from each camper who attends the camp will go directly to the shelter and its efforts.
"Each of our coaches has either plucked a stray dog off the streets of Greencastle to give it a home, or has been a part of rescues in other ways, so we know the importance of the work done at the shelter," assistant coach Mary Smith said. "People can only care for so many pets themselves. When that limit is reached, where does one turn?"
Smith, co-founder of the camp, says she has personally called the shelter when they are at capacity and could not accept any more pets, and has heard countless other stories of Putnam County residents who have done the same.
"It's a very helpless feeling. Here you have a sweet, dependent and sometimes scared pet in front of you, with nowhere to turn, for the pet or for yourself. The answer lies in the shelter. So, we need to make sure it remains healthy and functioning," she said.
Jake and Tanner's Kid's Best Friend Camp will take place this coming Monday through Wednesday morning. It's for boys and girls entering kindergarten through 10th grade. Brochures are available at area businesses, or by contacting Huffman at email@example.com or 658-4960.
As part of the camp, donations to the pets at the shelter will again be accepted at the Lilly Center gym entrance from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the camp. The shelter could use anything related to cats and dogs including pet food, kitty litter, clean blankets and towels, leashes and collars, paper towels, laundry detergent, and other items needed by the pets and those who care for them. People wishing to make monetary donations should make their checks payable to "Humane Society of Putnam County" and all items will be delivered at the end of camp on Wednesday.
"This is the 15th year of our camp, and each year the proceeds have gone to charity," Smith said. "Given the recent news about the shelter, we feel it's very fitting that the HSPC receives our help this year. Several of our players and some community members will be volunteering their time. We hope there's a gym full of kids to work with."
Smith also notes a number of their current and former players who have walked dogs and otherwise helped at the shelter over the years, or who have expressed concern about a stray dog or cat wandering the DePauw campus.
"So much of this issue can be improved simply by people caring," she said. "Care enough to have your pet spayed or neutered. Care for it properly. Care that a pet is suffering. Care that a community without an animal shelter would mean that a small number of unfriendly dogs would be roaming among us. Care enough to donate to the shelter, or to volunteer. And, know that each one of us can be a small part of the solution.
"It's not the animal shelter's job alone to figure this out. It should be a shared effort and, quite honestly, some of the answers should be found long before the problems surface and arrive at the shelter's doors," Smith added.
The Jake and Tanner's Kids' Best Friend camp begins Monday.