As we begin the new year, I want to take a minute of your time to fill you in on the progress of the EasternMaderaCountySPCA, and to thank you for your support. In 2005, we had many successful events that help support the important programs of the SPCA. These fundraisers would not happen without our volunteers. For the past three years, Rhiannon Hetzel has produced The Gathering of the Tribes, a multi-cultural music and dance performance with the entire proceeds of the evening donated to the SPCA. As anyone who has ever undertaken such a task knows, Rhiannon puts in untold hours for her love of dance, and her love of animals. We are very grateful to Rhiannon for her support and the support of the performers who donate their talents. You can look for the next Gathering of the Tribes on Saturday, May 6th.
In 2005 the EMC SPCA board of directors made the decision to combine two major events, Tails on the Trail Dog Walk, and Animal Faire. We felt this would give more emphasis to the dog walk, and make the day for the combined events more fun. Every year, Dinah Reimer takes on the job of organizing the Animal Faire. She has done this for six years, and each year presents new challenges. Dinah begins in early spring and works tirelessly through the day of the event. Lee Spurgeon volunteers to solicit and collect the fabulous raffle prizes donated by local businesses and individuals. Without Dinah, Lee, and the group of volunteers who help out the day of the event, this major fundraiser would not happen. The next Tails on the Trail and Animal Faire is October 1st.
Also in 2005, we were pleased to receive an Opportunity Quilt made by the members of Sierra Mountain Quilters Association. This gorgeous quilt was raffled off over a seven month period. We showed the quilt and sold tickets at many local events, and over the last six weeks, our treasurer, Lyle Swanson went door to door in the business area of Oakhurst, and even in his local neighborhood to sell tickets. The effort paid off, and a total of $5000 was raised by the quilt raffle.
As you can see, there is a major thread that ties these events together…..volunteers! The Eastern Madera County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an all volunteer, non-profit organization. Without the volunteers, there would be no EMC SPCA, and there would be no programs to help local needy animals. We are happy to report that through funding by these events, and your donations, our programs are going strong.
The Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Return program has enough money to continue through the summer. We are looking at new ways to fund this program so we can continue to pay the full amount for spay and neuter surgeries for cats who have no caretakers, and will live healthier lives because they are not reproducing. We have helped several hundred local residents control the overpopulation of feral cats in their neighborhoods with this program.
Our Spay/Neuter Assistance program continues to help those who cannot afford spay/neuter surgeries for their pets. The board is considering increasing the amount we pay as local veterinarians have increased their fees considerably since our program began. Of course, we must take into consideration the sources of our funding, and don’t want to jeopardize the program by running out of money.
Pet of the Week continues to provide a good venue for pets needing homes. Through the support of local businesses that pay for the twice-weekly feature, we are able to showcase dogs and cats. We have a very good success rate through Pet of the Week placement, however, not every animal can wait to be featured in the paper. For this we rely on foster homes which are few!
The real need for the mountain area is still a well-run, financially sound shelter. The goal of the EMC SPCA is a shelter where animals will be cared for in a healthy environment, and where everything possible will be done to match them with the perfect home. We feel that an overcrowded foster home without adequate space or medical care is not a good situation for any animal. Therefore, rather than “collect” animals, until we have a proper place for them, we will continue to encourage current owners to keep their pets while we attempt to find a new home. Of course, in cases where this is impossible, we always try to make other arrangements. It is our belief that even though circumstances may change, and pet owners may find themselves needing to place their pets, it is important that they share the responsibility with us for this placement. If we allowed everyone who wants to “get rid” of an animal to dump them on the SPCA, they would share no responsibility for the pet, and would continue to treat animals as disposable. Our shelter committee continues to pursue all avenues and work diligently toward building a humane shelter for EasternMaderaCounty.
For 15 years, The EMC SPCA has worked to help needy animals and pet owners. We have always provided proper care for animals in our trust. We have helped thousands with spay and neuter, and by this, have prevented millions of unwanted births. It is our strong belief that to consider sheltering without addressing pet overpopulation is futile……building a shelter at the expense of the spay neuter assistance program would allow the pet population to explode and immediately overload a shelter of any size. As you can see, this is a multi-sided problem. It is a problem we cannot solve without your help. I hope you will take a minute to renew your membership with the EMC SPCA, or if you are not a member, please join us as we strive to help those in need. Along with us, you can help give the animals a voice. Together, we can make a difference!
For the animals,
President, EMC SPCA