Shelby Humane receives $95K grant for Shelby SafePet program

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – The Shelby Humane Society received the welcome news recently that it has been approved for a federal grant to help cover the cost of one of the nonprofit’s newest animal welfare programs.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed off on the $95,207 grant to Shelby Humane for Shelby SafePet, a program that partners with a statewide network of veterinarians and volunteers to provide free veterinary care and boarding of pets for survivors of domestic violence who are in need of confidential emergency shelter.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer the grant through funds provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Shelby Humane Executive Director David Arias said.

“We’re super excited,” he said. “This will pay for 80 percent of the cost of running this program for a little more than a year.”

Arias said donors have helped significantly in funding the program since its launch in May 2018, and the grant, made available through the Victims of Crime Act, will ensure sufficient funding continues.

“With this grant, we then have some of the funding pressure removed, and we know the funds will be there,” Arias said.

Perry Trice serves as the Shelby SafePet program manager.

“Survivors of domestic violence have enough on their minds without the financial burden of taking care of their four-legged family member while they seek safety for themselves,” Trice wrote in a press release. “This program aids an underserved population that is only now becoming recognized by both Domestic Violence and Animal Welfare Organizations.”

In other news, the Shelby Humane Society is running a holiday adoption special.

The adoption fee for dogs and cats six months and older is $25.

In addition, anyone who adopts a cat can adopt a second one free of charge.

Shelby Humane each year receives about 5,000 animals, half of which are owner surrenders, according to Arias.

“When families are looking for a pet, look here first,” Arias said. “We just want to make that (process) easier.”

Individual donations are always welcome and help to defray staffing and operational expenses for the organization, which follows a $1.6 million budget.

Monetary donations can be made at Shelbyhumane.org. The website also contains a wish list of specific items people can donate to Shelby Humane.

“Funds are always needed,” Arias said. “We deeply appreciate that support. We can’t do our work without it. It takes a lot to keep this building going.”