Photo by Heather Middleton
By Kathy Jefcoats
Clayton County Humane Society officials are thrilled that a recent fund-raiser has just about met a $13,000 goal, but know that even that won't provide everything necessary to take care of the daily needs of 130-160 cats and dogs.
The need for food, water, shelter and medical care never ends for the animals living in the no-kill facility in Jonesboro.
"The work we do has always been important, there has always been a need for assistance," said Robin Rawls. "But with the economy, I've never seen it this bad. We're more heavily burdened with people giving up their pets, because they can't afford them."
The recent fund-raiser, sponsored by Quilts & Fixins on North Main Street in Jonesboro, took in a lot of money for the shelter. Shop Owner Jeanne Lowery said she plans to keep unsold items on display for another week or so, to give people even more time to buy items and support the shelter.
"We still have around 70 great quilts and bags left for sale," said Lowery. "We will keep these on display for sale in our classroom for the next two weeks."
In addition to the money needed to keep the 14-year-old facility going, Rawls said volunteers are priceless and valued. There is also an immediate opening for a part-time employee to work with the cats.
"We're losing our cat lady and need someone to come in Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and every other Saturday," said Rawls. "They will be trained and told what to do. It's a very cat-oriented position."
Rawls said it is a never-ending battle to stay visible in the community, because as long as the shelter is in the minds of residents, donations can come in a steady stream. Part of the method to stay visible is holding upbeat fund-raisers like the recent quilt sale. The shelter also holds two yard sales during the year, and sends out a newsletter to remind folks of the animals' needs.
"We have three sure shots at fund-raising every year," she said. "We consider our newsletter a fund-raiser and will try to do three this year, instead of two. We really try to keep the need for support out there. We are also looking to, maybe, add a dance, and a ladies day with vendors selling items catering to women."
There would be less need for shelters like the one in Jonesboro, if more pet owners spayed or neutered their animals, she said.
"I get calls all the time from people begging me to take in litters of kittens or puppies," said Rawls. "There are tremendous resources out there, even for people with little money, to have proper vet care, shots and altering their pets. We even have a program that will pay to spay or neuter pit bulldogs. All they have to do is ask us."
For more information on low-cost spaying or neutering, or to make a donation, volunteer, or inquire about the part-time job, call the shelter, at (770) 471-9436.