The Upshur County Hope House for Pets held their first annual appreciation dinner for past, present and future volunteers at the Disabled American Veterans Building across from Wal-Mart in Gilmer Saturday night. Hot dogs with all the fixings, nachos, and other items were served free to all present.
Teresa Hebebrand, president of the organization, began the business portion of the meeting by thanking everyone for their dedication and hard work. “We have been a little behind in sending out ‘thank you’s’ to those who assisted with Yamboree, Chicken Fest, Ewell Community Fair, and the Christmas Fund Raiser because we have been very busy trying to get the sop’s finished,” Teresa explained. “Also, the board has been meeting at least weekly to discuss and vote on the important elements of the IRS 1023 in order to obtain our 501©3 status.”
“Daphne Grimes, Gilmer CPA, and Liz have been unbelievably instrumental in finishing this extremely difficult paperwork, which has been submitted and received by the IRS.” “We have been steadily writing Volunteer Handbooks, Foster Applications and Procedures, Intake Procedures, Sanitation, Disease Control, and many other Operating Procedures in order for the No Kill shelter to run smoothly and efficiently. This all takes time and in order to do it right, we cannot rush through it,” Hebebrand commented.
Michelle Enloe, board secretary discussed some of our short-term goals. “We plan to utilize the old large animal area behind Cherie Nazzal’s veterinary clinic as in intake facility. A work day is planned for March 9, Saturday, at 1:00 PM to clean out the existing area in order to prepare it for surrendered animals.”
After the clean-up, we will build 10-12 six foot by six foot runs with fencing material donated by Sarah Slocum. This area will be used right after we receive the animals as a temporary intake facility. They must first be evaluated as far as temperament and health.
“Each animal will be examined, blood will be tested for heartworm and other diseases, fecals will be performed for parasites, all vaccinations will be given, flea products will be applied, and the animal will be spayed and neutered,” Anita Smith, board treasurer, commented. “We plan to do everything for the health of these animals in order to assure they will not pass any diseases to new homes.” This is extremely important for the foster homes. Foster families do not want to take in unhealthy animals that may contaminate their existing pets.”
In order to perform these expensive procedures, a surrender fee must be paid by the person giving up the animal. Normally, these expenses can add up to a thousand dollars but veterinarians, such as Dr. Nazzal in Gilmer, Dr. Kenny Kimbrough in Longview, and the Animal Protection League volunteered to cut their prices in half in order to be able to do everything necessary for the health of the animal.
Sarah Slocum spoke about collecting items on a wish list. People can donate items such as old T-shirts, bowls, hoses, and many other items that we will be able to use once the facility is completed. Sarah will also store the items in her storage buildings until we are ready.
One idea for fundraising will be raffling off a gorgeous animal quilt being made by Kathy Rouse. Another fundraiser will be held in May similar to the old Cherokee Rose Pet Show, where people can enter their animals in a best dressed contest, talent show, obedience show, purebred or pedigree contest, and look-alike contest. “We want to keep visible to the community because this shelter is for the community,” president Teresa said. “We plan to publicize our events at least once a month or more.”
Pet Smart in Longview will allow the organization to bring adoptable animals to their store each Saturday. PETCO on the loop in Longview is sponsoring our low cost vaccination clinics where the money is divided between the 4-H students and Hope House. Our next vaccination clinic is this Saturday, February 23, PETCO, 12-2 PM.
Anyone interested in finding out more can visit us on Facebook, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go on our website (which is almost finished).
Also, please attend our workday at Animal Medical & Surgical Hospital, March 9, 1:00 PM Saturday with your gloves and wheelbarrows.
Our first quarterly meeting will be at the First United Methodist Church, Monday, March 25, 6 PM, followed by a members committee meeting April 8.
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