To raise the “woof”
By Colin Henry
This year the Humane Society for Boone County will celebrate its seven-year anniversary and raise money for its animals during its first Fur Ball, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 inside the Golf Club of Indiana.
Founded by a group of local resident volunteers, the Humane Society has become a resource caring for homeless, lost and displaced domestic animals. All of this has been possible despite having no building to work in.
All of the proceeds from the Fur Ball, a Mardi Grad-themed event, will go toward Operation Shelter, a building fund to raise the more than $1.5 million needed to construct or buy a place to house the animals. So far, the group has raised $300,000.
The facility for Operation Shelter is expected to cover seven acres at a still-undetermined location. It will include a dog park large enough to support local residents and their dogs.
“We can’t say for sure now, but it would be our dream,” Humane Society President Susan Austin said. “We would love to have a place for the dogs to get plenty of socialization, exercise and interaction with other animals. It makes them much better pets in the home because a happy and tired dog is a good dog.”
History of caring
In 2007 the group began with contributions and volunteers. Until now, these volunteers have temporarily fostered the animals. They take care of their day-to-day needs until the animals can be found a suitable home.
“Our volunteers foster, feed and house the pets, and run them to veterinary appointments for general health and to be spayed or neutered,” Austin said.
The organization currently has more than 60 active volunteers, all whom register on the group’s Website.
“The Website has helped immensely because it is a good link for people to help the animals,” Austin said. “As long as the pets find a good home, that is what it’s really about.”
The Humane Society’s Website is also linked to PetFinder.com, a searchable database to help bring homeless pets to new owners. The site has a directory of more than14,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
“We use Pet Finder, which I believe is one of the, if not the, biggest listing of all the in-shelter animals. We are a part of that and if people can’t find what they are looking for with us they can use the proximity search of the area [for another shelter]and find what they are looking for,” said Austin.
Austin said she hopes the Fur Ball will raise enough funds for the group to build a place for the animals, and take some of the burden off the volunteers.
“Then maybe we can find all of the animals a permanent home,” she said.
Location: The Cardinal Room at Golf Club of Indiana, 6905 S. 525 East, Lebanon
Cause: All proceeds will benefit “Operation Shelter.”
Cost: Tickets are $50 per person, $375 for an eight-person table and $425 for a 10-person table. Reservations can be made via phone at 765-485-8888. Payment can be made with a check addressed to Humane Society, P.O. Box 708, Lebanon, IN 46052.
To volunteer with the Humane Society for Boone County, visit www.HSFBC.org.