If you’re like me, you’ve set goals for 2020. One of my top personal priorities was to continue to give back and volunteer for a local organization. At the beginning of December, I started to volunteer for the Hamilton County Humane Society (HCHS). I have always been a dog lover, and since my husband is more of a cat guy, this gig provides me the opportunity to get my canine fix while putting in some valuable hours for this worthy organization.
What is the HCHS?
The Hamilton County Humane Society is one of the only open-admission, no-kill shelters in the United States. Open admission means they take it all, and while their work is often heartbreaking, they work hard to achieve a 98 percent annual placement rate for their animals. (I heard recently that someone brought in some exotic birds a while back!) Before volunteering, I assumed there was an animal shelter in Hamilton County, but had no idea where it was or what their mission was before starting my volunteer program. The Humane Society for Hamilton County embraces giving every animal a chance regardless of age, breed, special medical needs, disability, time, space, or cost. With the help of a fearless leader, amazing staff, and countless volunteers, the HCHS does it all. Serving Hamilton County’s animals and residents, the facility receives hit-by-car, hoarding, cruelty, and neglect cases, in addition to investigations, stray and unwanted pets 365 days a year.
When I first met Rebecca Stevens, the Executive Director of the Hamilton County Humane Society, I was struck by her passion. She embodies everything that the HCHS believes and does. She seemingly eats, sleeps, and breathes her love of the organization and the animals they serve. Running from meeting to meeting, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to spend 20 or so minutes learning about her position and leadership and how others can help.
The HCHS currently operates in a small building in Noblesville that is literally busting at the seams. I was struck by how little room they actually have and how much they can do with the tiny space. However, thanks to Rebecca Stevens’ leadership, the organization is well on its way to a new home. The HCHS recently completed a yearlong fundraising campaign to raise $14 million dollars for a much larger facility for Hamilton County animals. On June 24th, the non-profit will celebrate an official groundbreaking for the new building, which will quadruple the size of its current facility. It is their hope and plan to design and build a world-class shelter that will save more lives and offer expanded outreach programs and further community involvement.
What can I do?
While the capital campaign is nearing completion, there are still ways to give back to the HCHS. Rebecca and her team continue to fundraise in hopes of securing a $2 million operating endowment. She is already looking towards the future, and with that money in place they will be able to run effectively for years to come. In addition, volunteers are a cornerstone of the HCHS. While everyone wants to cuddle with a kitten or play catch with Fido, there are a variety of opportunities for animal lovers to give back. It’s not always the most glamorous job, but I enjoy being able to put my time in knowing I am doing my part to help some of Hamilton County’s furriest friends. Whether you are interested in giving monetarily or with your time, I encourage you to go to the Hamilton County Humane Society’s website for more information.