I stopped in at the Spokane Humane Society while I was in town for a show last month. I was given a thorough tour of the facility by Executive Director Dave Richardson & Dori Peck, The Director of Outreach and Community Relations. When we were finished Dave took off a pin from his lapel & gave it to me. I was emotionally moved, this man gave me a piece of his life’s work and shared it with me.
Volunteering in a shelter myself in my free time I understand all the challenges involved with running this kind of facility and how it depends on so many people giving whatever they can-whether it’s free time, services, money, etc. They were especially busy that week as they had rescued 46 Labradoodles from a hoarder. Their passion and dedication for animals just warms the heart and gives me a lot of faith in humanity.
Now I must give You the reader some history about this wonderful place, and what accomplishments these people have made.
Imagine this for a second…… since 1897, The Spokane Humane Society has acted as a refuge for animals in peril by providing care, shelter, and placement for tens of thousands of lost, neglected, and unwanted animals in the greater Spokane, Washington area. The number of animals they have served has varied over the years but they are very proud in their current role as a companion animal adoption shelter. They place between 2500-3500 animals annually through their adoption program, and reach out to tens of thousands of individuals promoting the importance of animals in our lives.
A major goal of theirs is to reduce the surplus animal population through spay & neuter programs. I am a HUGE BELIEVER that we could do away with euthanizing animals in the future if we are able to implement and operate low-income spay and neuter clinics in every community in this country, as well as educating the public about humane issues and responsible pet care. It’s very possible.
By mandate of the Spokane Humane Society’s board of directors in January 2006, the SHS stopped euthanizing animals. Limited resources and unavailable kennels made it impossible to continue to accept unlimited animals and made it necessary to work with their community partners in animal control and rescue, evolving to their current day “Reservation required” shelter. This change initially reduced the number of animals they served each year but increased the number of animals being permanently placed into loving homes and improved placement rate from 52% to 79% from 2006 to 2007.
As a part of this policy change, strays are referred to their appropriate animal control facility and in 2008, they had a placement rate of 96% ! Very impressive statistics considering the difficulties in the current economy. You can tell that this facility is well looked after by the community of Spokane-there were so many volunteers when I was walking through the facility. It takes community support working hand in hand to help accomplish these goals and create better quality of life for our dear animal friends.
More information can be found at the link below.
About The Author:
Malea McGuinness helps to raise money for Animal Charities & foundations through her live performances in communities she performs in. Malea has garnered lots of attention for her inspirational new album, ‘CLOSE AS AIR’. Her single “Spinning”, is currently building at AAA Radio and receiving rotation from Music Choice. In July 2010, Malea took the stage of the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse for her fourth outing to Milwaukee’s annual Summerfest Music Festival, opening up for alternative rockers, The Counting Crows. She generously donated all her merchandise profits earned to two local organizations, The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Wisconsin Humane Society.
“Close As Air” is the latest single from Malea’s release of the same title. It’s hitting radio as we speak. Be sure to call in and request it . You can also buy it from iTunes here.
Malea McGuinness @ Spokane Humane Society
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