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Capital Campaign Leadership
Joe Burlingame, co-chair
Tish Watts, co-chair
Board of Directors
Jack Sharp, President
Amy Figgins, Vice President
Shannon Block, Treasurer
Christine Sharon, Secretary
Joe Burlingame, Past President
Dr. Susan Fazzari
[fruitful_tab title=”The Campaign”] The goal of the capital campaign, “Unleashing a Brighter Future,” is to complete key renovations to our current facility in order to better accomplish our mission.
As we reflect on our history and look forward to our future, we have determined renovations and additions to our current facilities are critical. Animals are stressed due to overcrowding and noise. Adoptive families have limited opportunities to interact with potential new pets. Our surgical and recovery areas are woefully inadequate, leaving animals to recover on floors and in offices. There is no space for education, volunteer training, or to offer basic obedience training and support to sustain the adoption matches we make every day between people and pets. The “Unleashing a Brighter Future” capital campaign supports a campus remodel to address these needs.
We have planned thoughtfully and the possibilities for the advancement of our mission will grow exponentially as we engage the community in meaningful, impactful ways to celebrate and preserve the bond between people and their pets on a campus specifically created to support that bond. We are determined to create such a future.
[fruitful_tab title=”The Story of Earl”]
On a hot July day in 2015, a handsome black-and-white American Pitbull mix arrived at the Blue Mountain Humane Society after being found wandering the streets of Walla Walla lost and severely injured. The poor pup had been hit by a car and suffered several complicated fractures to one of his back legs. Treatment at the shelter was not an option due to limited surgical facilities, and he was transported to a local veterinary clinic for care.
Meanwhile, BMHS staff diligently tried to contact an owner by following the leads provided by the injured dog’s microchip. Every lead ended in disappointment because there was no current contact information for his owner on record with the microchip company. The days slipped by until the holding period for stray dogs expired with no one coming forward to reclaim him.
Back at the veterinary clinic, the dog’s leg had to be amputated and he was neutered. He remained at the clinic for over a week before returning to the shelter due to lack of space for appropriate recovery and postoperative care.
Once able to travel, “Earl,” as he was christened by the staff, was brought back to BMHS. Earl proved to be a friendly, fun-loving sweetie who just wanted to find a forever home with loving humans. But before he could even begin his search, poor Earl had to return to the veterinary clinic for treatment of a new wound near his missing leg. Had there been adequate surgical facilities at BMHS both of these stressful trips may have been avoided.
Finally back at the shelter, three-legged Earl was given his necessary vaccines and posed for his glamour shots. Staff were very hopeful that he would quickly find a new home. Earl’s friendly nature attracted many potential families. He went on four home-trials, but none of them proved to be a perfect fit. Perhaps Earl could have found his forever family more quickly if the shelter had a dedicated space away from the noise at the front desk for staff to provide detailed adoption counseling and information to potential adopters!
Days became months and Earl’s joyful demeanor faded as the stress of kennel life settled in. Staff and volunteers committed more one-on-one attention to help combat his anxiety and to help him cope with living at the shelter but it was nothing compared to living in a home with a family. Earl was able to receive some training, enrichment and play in the off-leash area, but it was never enough. An additional off-leash area would allow for twice as many dogs to be outside, giving dogs like Earl an opportunity to relieve tension though supervised group play.
Almost four months after he arrived at BMHS, Earl found his forever family and was back to his fun-loving and sweet self. Earl is now known as Teddy. Teddy and Quincy, his doggie brother who was also adopted at BMHS, love to run and play together. Since Teddy’s adoption, his family has witnessed a transformation and watched him blossom into an exceptionally happy, resilient dog.
Thankfully, Earl’s story has a happy ending, but because of the limitations of the current BMHS facility his experience was bumpy. Earl is just one of thousands of animals needing care and compassion that make their way to the BMHS each year. Through facility renovations that will make the shelter more efficient and humane, we can smooth the story for all the “Earls” who come through our doors.
[fruitful_tab title=”Renovation Plan”]
Renovations will equip our staff and volunteers with the needed resources to provide the best possible care for our community’s companion animals and their families for years to come. The focus of this design is to improve the overall experience for each animal that makes their way through our doors by developing the following:
- A new surgical suite with dedicated pre-operating, operating and recovery rooms
- A new room to house adoptable kittens
- A new isolated waiting area for incoming animals
- A new dog park to create off-leash play groups and engage the community
- A sound proof wall between the adoptable cats and dogs, reducing stress for the animals
- An expanded area for adoptable cats to increase the quality of life while at the shelter
- An area to provide detailed adoption counseling
- A new storage building for pet food, animal care, emergency and fundraising supplies
- A new community room for volunteer trainings, classes and community engagement
Help us create a brighter future for the animals by supporting
“Unleashing a Brighter Future.”
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