SIDNEY — Representatives of the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) spoke to members of the Rotary Club of Sidney at their meeting, Feb. 8.
SCARF Board Member Cheri Dalton told the Rotarians that SCARF was formed in 2012 by a group of concerned pet lovers.
“Our mission is to raise the funds to support the Shelby County Animal Shelter operate safely, education and community outreach concerning abused and neglected animals, medical procedures, eliminating euthanasia of adoptable animals, and maintaining best practices,” she said. SCARF is currently raising money to build a new animal shelter and adoption center.
“The new center will cost $2.4 million, and will be a climate-controlled environment. The current shelter is cold in the winter and hot in the summer,” Dalton said. “The new facility will provide a much more comfortable facility for both dogs and cats until they can find a new, forever home.” Julie Ehemann, SCARF Board Vice-President, advised Rotarians that the current campaign had reached about 42 percent of the goal.
“Once we have raised the necessary funds, the money will be turned over to the county commissioners and they will let the bids for constructing the new facility. SCARF has no desire to operate a shelter,” she said.
“Since we started our work in 2012, we have saved the taxpayers $109,546.00!” Ehemann stated. “We have greatly reduced the number of animals that have to be euthanized, and that is fortunate.”
Dalton pointed out that through the efforts of SCARF, very few dogs are euthanized. “Last year, it was fewer than 15, and those were dogs that could not be adopted because they were either too badly injured to be saved by a veterinarian or animals that could not be socialized.”
Dalton reviewed the ways that SCARF has reached out to the community to raise funds for their efforts.
Ehemann pointed out that in addition to the ongoing fund-raising efforts, SCARF has been working with others to promote adoption events. In addition, they are planning a program that would trap feral cats, spay or neuter and vaccinate them, and return them to the community.
“Since WMVR’s Joe Laber began the ‘Pet of the Week’ program, we have learned the value of utilizing various media. Our website has enabled us to even have adoptions from other states — as far away as Washington,” Dalton said. “We had someone fly in from Michigan and adopt a pet with whom they connected online.”
The Rotary Club of Sidney meets Mondays at noon in the Moose Lodge, 1200 N. Broadway Ave.