Plea for urgent donations

Could YOU have turned your back on these furry angels and NOT provided them with medical care???

Sister Bertrille – Treated for mange and was rescued

Jillie Mack – Treated for multiple health issues and was rescued

Dice – Was undergoing surgery by a special eye surgeon in Louisville, but died as they were trying to administer anesthesia.

Stitches – Received immediate medical treatment (stitches, antibiotics, and pain medication) and was rescued.

Leitchfield, KY – Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/KY103.html
Phone: 270-230-8839
email:
dwhite@aggressiveonline.net (@aggressiveonline.net) or bethany@mail2cook.com (@mail2cook.com)
Open on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 7:00AM – 1:00PM (Central Time)
TRANSPORT IS USUALLY AVAILABLE (often to Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and sometimes even Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) — PLEASE JUST ASK!!!

PLEASE FORWARD AND CROSS-POST!!!

Does your heart split wide open whenever you receive an email that talks about how a dog or cat (or some other dear critter) is lying in pain in a cold, hard, concrete kennel or in a metal cage at a shelter and then you’re told that no medical treatment is available to them until a rescue or adopter takes them into their care? So many of us often jump at the chance to send a donation to such a suffering furry angel.

This message is actually a slight twist to that too-often, sad-but-true “tail” we usually receive via email……

The all-volunteer Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA in Leitchfield, KY finds itself at a MAJOR cross-road. Responsible for administering the adoption and rescue program at the Leitchfield City Animal Shelter (as well as trying to help as many county animals as they can), these kind-hearted souls truly do try to give EVERY dog and cat (and occasional chicken, hamster, rabbit, or other critter) that ends up in their care a chance at making it out alive – both happy and healthy when they do leave.

Although a kill shelter when space and/or temperament issues arise (four dogs were actually euthanized in just the last two weeks), that means that for the five years the volunteers have run this shelter (on their own power and mostly with their own financial resources), they’ve provided all of the necessary vet care needed by each animal to have such a life-saving chance. And yes…..that includes the four precious ones shown in the photos above.

The Grayson volunteers have consciously chosen to treat injured and/or ill pets – whether they have a broken leg, suffer from mange, are heartworm positive, or whatever else ails them – instead of immediately killing them. Not funded by the state or local government and the recipient of far-too-few-outside funds, such treatment is often an expense that comes out of the Grayson volunteers’ OWN wallets. On top of that, they do NOT require rescuers or adopters who offer to take in such dear ones to reimburse them for the critical care they might have received.

If this group sounds familiar to you and you’re wondering why, a plea was sent out for them around Christmas of last year that asked for help in buying new dog houses and/or beds for their dogs, as winter was setting in and the ones they had were BEYOND falling apart. The response to such a plea was AMAZING and the volunteers TRULY felt blessed. Understandably so, they’re DEEPLY concerned that by continuing to ask for help, people will now feel they’ve “come to the well one too many times.”

However, with a never-ending supply of new arrivals that often are in need of some kind of special medical care (above and beyond just vaccines and spays/neuters), they simply can not seem to get out from under their vet bill which now totals more than $5,000. Such an outstanding bill, coupled with a severe lack of local support and not enough volunteer help, is causing the Grayson volunteers to SERIOUSLY consider ceasing management of the shelter.

As was stated in the pre-Christmas plea, the Grayson volunteers are constantly watching their budget and they DO NOT spend money foolishly. They also try to fundraise with what little time and energy they have left; a recent rummage sale netted several hundred dollars. Much of the money they have and/or make, goes towards covering (and “paying down”) these medical bills, as well as for paying for the gas and occasional van rentals that are needed to drive the regularly-scheduled long-distance transports that they willingly make to get the dogs and cats to safe rescues or loving furever homes.

While some would say they’ve “dug their own financial hole,” the Grayson volunteers simply wouldn’t have it any other way. As one of them recently said, “Some people will think we’re not being fiscally responsible; others will agree with our decisions. The thing is, when you take them to the vet, you just don’t know WHAT is going to develop and when you’ve already invested money, you hate to call a halt and just say ‘kill them’.”

These kind-hearted souls have also helped numerous local people who approached them to help take their pets to the vet and then they were never reimbursed for the bills. They’ve also been “hit” lately with almost $300 worth of extra fees to spay dogs that were in heat at the time of surgery – a fee they haven’t passed along to rescues or adopters. Regular expenses also include such items as approximately $300 per month for clavomox (an antibiotic) during kitten season (which can run from May through November for them), $390 for every 30 FeLV tests (which would cost over $1,000 to be done at the vet’s office), and $270 for every 30 heartworm tests (which again would cost $750 to be done at the vet’s). Frontline and wormers also take a huge financial commitment.

Another volunteer summarized the resulting situation best when she said, “We now have to find rescue for what we have and we have to fundraise for what we now owe.” The bottom line though is that the Grayson volunteers sleep at night knowing that they’ve given EVERYTHING they can to help those in such need.

However, it’s not in their nature to ask for help of ANY kind. As someone who tries to help them online via long-distance, I’m going to ask FOR them. If this shelter closes, the animals that are there now and/or that would have been there in the future will likely face certain death as the nearest other shelters are VERY high kill. To lose the Leitchfield Animal Shelter is to lose almost every single chance for a Leitchfield city stray or owner-surrendered animal to ever have a second chance at a happy life. I, for one, do NOT want to see that happen and I’m willing to put my wallet where my heart and mouth are.

I personally will match dollar-for-dollar the first $500 that’s donated to this “campaign.” I BEG (and I do mean BEG) each and every one of you that reads this, and that can spare even $1.00, to please consider helping this wonderful group of super-dedicated volunteers. After that first $1,000 is raised, if only 400 other people can contribute $10.00 each (or 800 people can give $5.00 each – you get the picture), the entire Grayson vet bill will be paid in full and that HUGE hurdle for their future survival will be reduced to a tiny little pebble in the pathway to their remaining operational.

The money they receive will not only go towards paying off the outstanding vet bill, but will be put to good use for such things as tending to the current special needs pets that are now there including such precious souls as NoWhere Man (listed below). Additional funds will also allow the Grayson volunteers to treat incoming pets that are injured and/or ill, instead of having to continue to “triage treat” them as the funds do become available.

Whatever amount of a donation you can make, you can Paypal it directly to them by clicking on the “Donate Visa/Mastercard” button at the top of their Petfinder web site at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/KY103.html or you can mail checks to:
Grayson County Humane Society/SPCA
213 William Thomason Byway
Leitchfield, KY 42754

If you need a receipt, please just ask for one. Donations ARE tax deductible, as this group is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

If you see a similar message pop up in your inbox during the month of June, please note that we’ll be posting occasional updates about the money that’s been raised from this plea. We think it’s EXTREMELY important to say thank you and to share any good news that results from this campaign to save such a vital shelter from closing its doors.

It also seems appropriate to be “campaigning” for Grayson throughout the month of June as it has these wonderful celebrations associated with it:
Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month (every month should be adopt-a-shelter cat month!)
Effective Communications Month (are we doing that with this plea?)
Rebuild Your Life Month (something the Grayson volunteers are trying to do for the shelter)
National Headache Awareness Week (shelter work can occasionally cause such pain!) 6/1-6/7
International Clothesline Week (seems like we’re “airing dirty laundry!”) 6/7-6/14
Leave The Office Early Day (sounds like a GREAT idea!) 6/2
Crowded Nest Awareness Day (what shelter isn’t crowded these days???) 6/12
Friday the 13th (some days at a shelter feel unlucky and this is the ONLY Friday the 13th in 2008)
National Juggling Day (could be called National Shelter Workers Day!!!) 6/14
International Panic Day (anyone working at a shelter has had those moments!) 6/18
Take Your Dog To Work Day (all dogs should be so lucky) 6/20
Superman’s Birthday (ALL shelter workers are super-beings!) 6/30

Seriously though, for anyone who believes this will be a “stop-gap” short-term solution, please know that many behind-the-scenes long-distance Grayson “cheerleaders” are banding together to try and create some more permanent solutions for this shelter and its too-small group of volunteers. From creating a Yahoo group dedicated solely to the Leitchfield shelter (PLEASE join them by going to http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/friendsofgraysoncohumanesoc/ – the group was officially just started TODAY!), to setting up such programs as “Sponsor a Kennel,” ideas are being tossed about and implemented to prevent this financial hardship from ever getting out of hand again.

Listed below are photos and details about just a FEW of the dear furry angels that needed medical attention and that received it because of the human Grayson volunteer angels. If you’d like additional information about the vet bills that have been accrued, please don’t hesitate to ask. The Grayson volunteers have NOTHING to hide and they’re happy to provide such details.

If you can’t donate to this campaign, we certainly understand. However, could you pretty-puppy-please cross-post this message to just one other person that might be able to help? It would be GREATLY appreciated and it literally might make the difference in whether this shelter remains open or not……

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