Shelby Humane earns $100k challenge grant

By JAN GRIFFEY/Editor

COLUMBIANA — The Shelby Humane Society has received a challenge grant from VP Funds, which will match dollar-for-dollar donations made to the Shelby Humane Society’s spay and neuter surgeries, up to $100,000.

“VP Funds is an anonymous, local donor, who we have worked with for quite some time,” said Sara Shirley, executive director of the Shelby Humane Society.

The grant provides an opportunity to raise up to $200,000 to help care for animals in the Shelby County shelter.

“We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that spay and neuter is the answer. It is a first step to getting us closer to no kill. We know spay and neuter is the answer to preventing the needless euthanization of healthy, adoptable animals,” Shirley said.

“This donor is the donor who helped us get this program started. They believe in it because they see the numbers. When you go from annual animal intake of 8,000 to 5,000 a year, you know that it’s working,” she said. “It really makes me want to cry. It gives us so much hope.”

Shirley said VP Funds has not discussed a time limit for raising the funds, but all involved want to accomplish this goal as quickly as possible.

“Support Shelby Humane Society! Every dollar really does count. We need your help to stop the overpopulation of the shelter. Your donation will make a direct impact on the spay neuter of Shelby Humane Society and will help to save an animal’s life,” said Bob McArdle, Shelby Humane board president, in a press release issued Thursday afternoon.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Shelby Humane supporters to double their investment. Every dollar we receive is instrumental in our success and we’re hopeful this challenge will encourage new donors to support us and existing donors to consider an additional amount to go toward this challenge,” Shirley said.

Shelby Humane Society not only houses and cares for pets you can adopt, but also for animals throughout Shelby County through a variety of programs and care for neglected animals and pets here. Grant funds will allow Shelby Humane to spend the money needed on spay and neuter surgeries to help decrease the overpopulation of unwanted and abused animals.

“Shelby Humane Society’s Quick Fix Program has been instrumental in reducing the unwanted litters of puppies and kittens from being born, thus reducing the number being surrendered to an already-crowded shelter. By doubling the funds available for spay and neuter surgeries, we will be able to assist so many more Shelby County residents, both human and companion pets,” said Whitley Wilson, Shelby Humane Society Safety Net manager.

To make a donation, or for more information, please call Sara Shirley at 669-3916, ext. 29, or visit ShelbyHumane.org. Donors are asked to specify on their donation checks or in some way that the funds donated are for the VP Funds match.