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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Humane treatment

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This cat is one of many felines that will be available on Saturday, Sept. 3 to adopt, with persons allowed to choose their own adoption fee from noon to 5 p.m.
The Humane Society of Putnam County provides homes to 90 cats and dogs. But the non-profit organization is facing some serious budget cuts. Such budget cuts mean fewer hours for the workers as well as less individual time with the animals themselves.

The Humane Society opened its doors back in 1989. It was closed for a brief time due to circumstances similar to what it is now facing. The shelter staff is trying its best during this troubling time to find homes for the animals or to transfer them to another shelter.

"Right now we're in crisis mode," explained Lynn Cullen, executive director at the Humane Society.

As of now the Humane Society has been forced to reduce hours and is now open two days a week -- Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. All staff members have had hours reduced, and one person has even been laid off.

"I'm hoping it's a temporary thing but we are not sure at this point," Cullen explained.

Fewer hours and less staff will have serious consequences for the animals, she said.

The shelter maintains the same budget it has operated under for the past three years. There have been no extra expenses yet; they are being forced to cut back in other areas.

With the current state of the economy, it is no wonder why many shelters are struggling.

"We have been going on bare minimum for months," Cullen said. "A lot of non-profits are struggling and we are no different."

Board members are working on new fundraising ideas, applying for every possible grant they can, and trying to increase donations.

The recent opening of the Rescued Treasures resale shop in downtown Greencastle helps but "it's not enough to keep the shelter open," says Cullen.

However, the Humane Society was set to get a grant back in January that fell through. Without the grant funding, the shelter just kept falling farther and farther behind, Cullen said.

"If we had gotten the money and the economy was better, this might have been prevented," Cullen added. "We've been struggling ever since."

Many wonder why the county does not help fund the Humane Society, she noted. Instead towns have to contract out to them in order to take care of their stray animals. The county has recently stopped bringing animals to the shelter and has no funding to help.

Fundraising is the biggest help to keeping the Humane Society doors open. One of the current fundraisers is "Be a Friend to Homeless Animals," which will allow the community members to either become a "Shelter Friend" or "Sponsor a Kennel."

If one chooses to become a shelter friend, the money donated each month will go to the shelter as a whole, whereas if one sponsors a kennel they will be able to pick a certain animal and receive updates on that animal.

Also, this Saturday, the Humane Society is allowing persons to choose their own adoption fee for all cats. This event will run at the Humane Society and last from noon to 5 p.m. As usual the Humane Society provides microchip clinics as well as mobile adoptions.

Dog licensing is another option the Humane Society is hoping for. This would not only help with funding but also make sure people are taking proper care of animals, as well as helping with the pet overpopulation problem. This would require anyone who owns a dog to have a license. The fee for this would be cheaper if the animal is spayed or neutered and up to date on their shots.

So what does this mean for the animals?

In the end, the animals are left alone for longer periods of time with less individual attention because of a smaller staff. Hopefully, many of the animals will be adopted out or transferred.

Animals that are found as strays will no longer be able to find a safe home at the shelter. People who bring animals to the shelter will be turned away due to overpopulation.

"You're pretty much on your own and out of luck, and it shouldn't be that way," Cullen explained.

There are no resources to pick up stray or injured animals. With the shelter no longer accepting animals, there are many people who are outraged.

"We get yelled at on a regular basis," Cullen said.

She advises dumping of animals on the property should be avoided, as there are little resources available to fully take care of any more animals.

Cullen is remaining hopeful that the Humane Society will be able to bounce back and keep its doors open.

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Please drop off food for the animals and contribute money to the shelter on a monthly basis. "Be a Friend to Homeless Animals" or a "Shelter Friend." We need this resource in the county.

-- Posted by gc1981 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 9:59 AM

Yes, please take time to stop by and drop off a bag of food if possible! Too many people mistreat their pets and just assume someone else will take care of a dumped animal along the roadside - that is NOT the case! We need the Putnam Co Humane Society !!!!

-- Posted by tennismom on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 11:28 AM

The shelter will be open Tuesdays and Saturdays 12-5 and closed on Thursdays!

Dog adoption prices are $50-$85 for now and includes s/n and vaccinations.

-- Posted by fedup4 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 12:24 PM

The form to become a shelter friend is available on the HSPC's Facebook page:


-- Posted by BookEm on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 1:43 PM

ok...if they didnt keep animals for so long, it may not be such an issue. Why do they house animals for more than 7 or 10 days? I know for a fact that there have been animals there for at least 12 months without being transfered or adopted. It is sad that so many animals are abused and left to fight for themselves as strays, but the first thing that needs to be done is to make it a kill shelter. then the other strays wouldnt be turned away, and if someones dog is picked up and taken there and then unclaimed within the 7 to 10 day period, then maybe they should be more responsible pet owners in the first place. also if it was a kill shelter one would think that instead of paying for the 100lbs of food for the 90 cats and however much for the ton of dogs that are there everyday, they might not need as big a budget....just a thought

-- Posted by gcmomof2 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 2:25 PM

It really irks me when people don't fully understand how a shelter works. Fortunately, they get enough food DONATED to them that they do not have to worry about paying for food/litter. They're not out of money by choice or because of poor decisions. Making it a kill shelter would not help. Owners need to be more responsible for their pets. IMO, a shelter should not be their FIRST choice when it comes to 'getting rid of' their pets. There are tons of other resources to help re-home your animals. I think it all comes down to responsible people.

-- Posted by lesh1987 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 2:43 PM

just sayin, if they had enough food donated, then they wouldnt be begging for it....

-- Posted by gcmomof2 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 2:54 PM

1. Making it a kill shelter would do nothing for the budget at all. It would probably make the problem worse. Have you ever been to a high kill shelter? The health of an animal that comes from a kill shelter is usually quite poor, and they are not given enough time to actually live. If you believe that a kill shelter is a good idea, do you also agree that every person sitting in jail right now should be put to sleep as well? Because that's basically the same thing to me. You might want to do some research about high kill shelters versus no kill shelter. I personally don't want a slaughter house in our county.

2. If people actually took care of their animals, the shelter wouldn't have to turn any animals to turn away. The shelter also gives out donations of food for the people who are going through hard times and actually love their animals. The shelter also donates pet food to senior citizens, so this non profit is helping other non profits because they understand what compassion is. Unlike people who think it should be a kill shelter.

Just sayin.

-- Posted by vetmed11 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 7:29 PM

Well put!

-- Posted by lesh1987 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 7:34 PM

The long term consequences, if the shelter shuts down or has to severely curtail its services, will impact all members of the Putnam County community. More pets will be set free and will breed, invade people's garbage and property, and interact with properly cared for pets. Dog borne illnesses and parasites will be spread more readily, and the overall problem of nuisance animals will increase. All of this will cost pet owners and the community anyway. Therefore,city and county governments, as well as the communities in the area need to come together to alleviate the problems at the shelter. This means levying a pet licensing tax--perhaps $10 per animal (and if you can't afford this, you probably can't afford the pet in the first place). Long term funding sources for the shelter need to be established, and a wider base of community volunteerism that cares for the animals and upkeep of facilities would help greatly. A fundraiser here and there is great, but the shelter can't effectively function when too much time is spent on fundraising rather than animal care. It is a quality of life issue for people who live in Putnam County. Failure to properly care for strays and unwanted pets will affect us all unless we take steps now to save the shelter.

-- Posted by David Worthington on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 7:35 PM

please stop the negative comments and arguing and pullthis county together tokeep the shelter doorsopen- I do not think anyone realizes what effect having no shelter will have on the community or how it looks for Greencastle not to have and support a Humane Society that can take in strays and animals people legitimately cannot care for.

-- Posted by talkymom3 on Thu, Sep 1, 2011, at 9:55 PM

I am extremely glad that it isn't a kill shelter. If it had been, then I never would have been able to adopt the best and healthiest cat in the world. I have a cat adopted from a different shelter and it was beyond sickly. I feel for these animals. I wish I could adopt 10 cats, but like the humane society, I can't afford all the things to take care of more than two cats. Every animal and person is losing a place to be when they are homeless. This breaks my heart.

-- Posted by HelloKitty106 on Fri, Sep 2, 2011, at 3:07 PM

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