Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Pet Shelter Suffers From Name Confusion

Tuesday June 8, 2010
Donations to local animal shelter down more than 30 percent
Director says economy, confusion over name might have led to decline
by Billy Wolfe
Daily Mail staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Donations to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association shelter are down about $70,000 from this time last year, according to the shelter's bookkeeper.

In June 2009, the shelter had about $212,000 in donations on hand. As of Monday, the shelter had about $141,000, bookkeeper Barbara Taylor said.

The state of the economy may to be blame. Taylor said a $25,000 allocation from the Kanawha County Commission for a new truck also inflated last year's numbers somewhat.

But Director Donna Clark said the shelter has always faced an uphill battle with fundraising. One thing that has made it difficult to raise money over the years is the name of the shelter, she said.

Because the shelter's name includes the word "humane," Clark said many donors mistakenly believe their donations to the Humane Society of the United States directly support the local shelter.

She said the local shelter and the national organization are two totally separate entities, although the Humane Society has given some money to the shelter in the past.

"We hear it all the time, 'But I already gave to the Humane Society,' " she said. "They think they are helping the shelter here, but they don't understand that money doesn't come locally."

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Add another local pet shelter to an ever-growing list who say that the HSUS is damaging their efforts to provide hands on pet care in their communities.

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