While the coronavirus pandemic has made an impact on us and society, it has also changed the lives of many of our four-legged friends as well.
The Lee County Humane Society’s mission is to end the suffering of animals by finding a loving safe home for them.
According to Outreach and Development Coordinator Sidney Hancock, the virus has made fulfilling the mission considerably more difficult.
Since the pandemic first struck, the shelter has experienced fewer volunteers and donations, and an increase in animal intakes compared to last year.
“We have more pets in the shelter than we did at the beginning of the pandemic, with less staff and less donations than usual,” she said.
One of the reasons for the overflow of pets, according to Hancock, has been the lack of temporary foster homes, something the Humane Society relies on to curb the numbers of pets it houses.
In order to combat the issues facing the Humane Society, they have partnered with the GreaterGood.org and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign, which will award $400,000 in matching funds via ClearTheSheltersFund.org.
From today until Friday, any donations made to the Humane Society will be matched through ClearTheSheltersFund.org.
Animal lovers may donate to the shelter of their choice, including the Lee County Humane Society, and will have the opportunity to win a $10,000 grant.
“This funding opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Hancock. “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our shelter and receiving matches to our donations would be a huge blessing to the homeless animals in our community.”
Hancock said that the funds raised this week would go into the general fund and will be used to pay for the upkeep of animals, staff wages, and general maintenance.
Down the road, the Humane Society hopes to raise enough to update its facilities, from the building to the parking lot, along with offering better wages, something Hancock says is desperately needed.
Aside from monetary donations and adopting a pet, Hancock said that the most valuable thing someone in the community can do is foster a pet.
“Foster and adoption support was increased at the beginning of Covid-19, but it has waned. LCHS desperately needs foster support,” said Hancock.
This will clear space in the already crowded shelter and help educate the community about pets and what would work well for a family. To donate, text CTS2020 or visit ClearTheSheltersFund.org.
To volunteer, adopt, foster or learn more about the Lee County Humane Society, visit leecountyhumane.org
To learn more about GreaterGood.org, visit their website.