Editorial: Humane society work worthy of our support

Published 7:20 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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The numbers speak for themselves.

• 514 cats and dogs were saved from being purposefully put to death.

• 237 pets were taken in.

• 148 pets were adopted.

• 499 pets were either spayed or neutered.

• More than 2,000 pet owners received food for their pets, food they couldn’t afford.

And if you think the numbers are something, look at the Humane Society of Davie County’s website (www.hsdavie.org), with links to pets that are available for adoption. If the looks on these animals’ faces don’t make you want to take them home and love them, then maybe you need to take a long look in the mirror.

But those numbers could change for the worse very quickly.

The Humane Society of Davie County, like many other non-profit organizations, relies solely on donations from the public. It doesn’t receive tax money. And like many of those organizations, those donations have been fewer and fewer as the years go on.

It’s to the point the doors are about to close.

If that happens, more dogs and cats will be put to death, especially with the fact that another private shelter in the county is closing.

If that happens, it will mean fewer animals getting spayed or neutered, which almost for certain will lead to more stray animals roaming our roads and neighborhoods.

Our county shelter can only handle so many animals. The extra effort of groups such as the humane society is necessary, especially when it comes to the low cost spay and neuter program it offers, and its food assistance program. We’ve printed way too many stories in this newspaper of people who fail to care for their animals properly – including starvation and abandonment. I’ve got a feeling those stories will multiply if the humane society closes.

The society is in the midst of a fund-raising drive, trying to turn things around before it no longer exists. If you can help, do so. If you can’t afford to help them out financially, at least help spread the word about the good work the humane society does.

Just the thought of closure makes me think about the pets I’ve been fortunate to have been around during my lifetime. There was my (our) first pet, Simon (I don’t remember what happened to Garfunkel), a sibling’s pet that I adopted, my dad adopted, my mom adopted … everyone adopted. Maybe it was Simon who adopted all of us.

Simon was not a house dog. We lived in the country, and she roamed. Boy, did she roam. But she always came home, sometimes bringing a bird or rabbit she had killed to lay on our doorstep as a prize just for us.

As I remember, Simon had three litters of puppies, the smallest litter being about 12. She was a Lab or Lab mix. We weren’t sure who all of the fathers were.

We did our best, but we couldn’t find homes for all of the puppies. A few ended up going to the county animal shelter. That was a long time ago, and animals didn’t last long at such shelters.

Yes, times have changed. For the better.

But if the Davie County Humane Society doesn’t receive enough support to stay open, I fear we’re going a step backwards in caring for animals that need us.

– Mike Barnhardt