SIDNEY — In its ongoing fundraising for a new animal shelter, the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) has set a big challenge for itself: 30 dog kennels in 30 days.
Beginning Nov. 7, the organization hopes to raise $6,000 per day for a month. The $6,000 figure is the price to sponsor one dog kennel in what will be the Bob Sargeant & Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center.
“The cat areas are all sponsored,” said Julie Ehemann, SCARF vice president, recently.
“This is a chance for dog-lovers to step up,” added Joe Laber, a member of the SCARF board of trustees.
Sponsors will have their names attached to the kennels in the new building.
“When you walk in, you’ll see your name on your kennel,” Laber said.
Donations can be cash or pledges, payable within three years.
“We’re suggesting (donors) go in with other people,” he said. Ehemann noted that individuals, an entire family, groups of co-workers, neighborhood groups or friends could pool their donations to sponsor a kennel.
“We’d love people to come together to make this happen,” she said.
The kennels in the current animal shelter were never meant to house dogs for long periods of time. When the shelter was built in 1971, it was the practice to euthanize animals soon after their arrival.
“If you didn’t get your dog within three days, it was put down,” Ehemann said. But attitudes about humane practices have changed in the last 45 years. Now, only terminally ill or particularly vicious dogs are euthanized. However, the old kennels are not good places for long residences, even though they must be used that way. It can take as long as 10 months for some pets to be adopted.
“When we do adoption drives and we get to a place like Tractor Supply, the first thing the dog does is lie down and stretch. They can’t do that in the current kennel. They’ll be able to do it in the new ones,” Ehemann said.
“We don’t want it to be a jail for dogs,” Laber said.
The Daily News will track the month’s funding drive by adding doghouse icons to a feature daily, on the Localife page, beginning Nov. 9.
To make a donation or a pledge, visit www.helpshelbycountyanimals.com or call the Shelby County Community Foundation at 497-7800.