Humane Society raising money for Shelter Partners program

By CHRISTINE ROBERTS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – What better way to celebrate the holidays than by saving the life of a dog in need? Shelby Humane Society has several opportunities for you to do just that.

The Shelby Humane Society is selling ornaments with a photo of a dog from Shelby Humane Society who is eligible for transport via the Shelter Partners program. (contributed)

Photos of dogs awaiting transport within the Shelter Partners program have been done by a volunteer professional photographer and have been placed in ornamental frames by the Board of Directors. These ornaments are available for purchase for $50 and can be obtained at Shelby Humane Society, Whole Foods on U.S. 280 or at Hollywood Feed on Doug Baker Boulevard where trees are decorated with the Shelter Partners ornaments. The ornaments can also be obtained online at Shelter-partners.org where you can scroll through pictures and select a dog awaiting sponsorship for the program. If the dog selected is adopted, sponsored by another party, or otherwise cannot make the trip to New England, another dog will be sent in its place.

The Shelter Partners ornaments are available for purchase for $50. (contributed)

Another option is the Shelter Partners’ Super Shuttle Sponsorship in which an entire van is sponsored for $1,000 and saves 35-45 pups. With this option, Shelby Humane stages a “good drive-by” wherein the transport van stops by the sponsor’s place of business on way its way to New England loaded with dogs whose lives have been saved. Several of these sponsorships have happened wherein coworkers raise money to sponsor a loaded transport van.

Shelby Humane Society Executive Director, Sara Shirley said, “Shelter Partners is the program that gives us hope. It’s not a cure all, it’s not going to correct the problem, but it is a Band-Aid. To be blunt, when we load that van up to go north, prior to this program, those dogs were not leaving here alive. Support this great program. It’s a feel-good program, and 100 percent saves lives.”

This is the sixth year of Shelter Partners, a program which transports dogs from Shelby Humane Society’s overpopulated shelter to shelters in New Hampshire and Maine, where affordable spay/neuter services, enforcement of leash laws and other animal welfare legislation have kept the dog population at bay. Since its inception in November 2006, Shelter Partners have saved the lives of nearly 6,000 dogs. Several times per month, the shelter’s van is loaded with 40 to 50 dogs and sent northward on a 24-hour journey. Volunteer drivers come from all over the southeast to participate in this experience.