I struggled with this: how can I ask readers to help a homeless pet, when they themselves need help?
Five years ago, I hoped we could help our shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organizations $3 at a time. Shelters could get enough donations to buy a new washing machine. For pet treats to calm hyper kennel residents. To repair a barn roof. My hope turned into reality as wishes came true, year after year.
The $3 Shelter Challenge began in 2015 when a retired couple on fixed incomes sent a shelter a $3 donation to help a rescued pigeon. If only everyone could send just $3, I thought. Every May since, I’ve asked readers to do just that. Choose a shelter from the list and send $3. Over those five years, readers have donated over $38,000 to help our homeless pets.
This year is different. I’m not asking readers to send $3 for a washing machine or dog treats. Only if you can, I’m asking for $3 to help with payroll, pay vet bills, replenish dwindling supplies of cat and dog food and cleaning supplies, and pay for sterilizations.
“This year we don’t have the luxury of asking for anything special to help our animals, we’re struggling to stay afloat,” said Maureen Hogan, director of the Humane Society of Middletown.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the fragile financial situation of the Warwick Valley Humane Society beyond our means,” said WVHS Vice President Celia Ross, “and with the loss of our events fundraising, we struggle even more. Monetary donations are urgently needed to help pay for outstanding bills and running costs. We had to cut hours, rotate staff and restrict volunteers to comply with the Governor’s order. The homeless animals in our care still need medication, exercise and care, so donations such as bleach, paper towels, laundry and dish detergent, Ground canned cat food and Hills dry dog and cat food are always needed.
With protocols, animal shelters have done very few adoptions, if any. Spring events like kitten showers and photos with the Easter Bunny have been cancelled. They depend on fundraising events and adoption fees to care for our homeless pets.
Then something happened. On April 2, I received an email from Carol Egan, Board Member of the Humane Society of Blooming Grove.
“You didn’t say anything about the $3 challenge, did you?” she wrote. “The reason I’m asking is because I received a donation in the mail yesterday with $3 in an envelope saying it was for the challenge.”
Even though the challenge takes place in the month of May, HSBG received a donation a month early, which was followed by another donation a few days later.
“People are broke and still do,” Egan said. “And to be honest, no adoption fees at this time, no one stopping by the shelter to drop off donations, I’ll take all the $3 I can get.”
My faith renewed, I hope again that those who can afford the $3 will still want to help their homeless pets.
We are in the same boat. Choose a shelter, send them $3.
LOCAL SHELTERS AND RESCUE
The $3 Shelter Challenge
Our shelters need our help. Until the end of May, choose one (or more) local animal organization(s) from the list below, put $3 in an envelope with the note “$3 Shelter Challenge” , address it, stamp it and mail it or donate on their website or PayPal. account (see PPA next to the addresses of some shelters). Post this column on recordonline.com and share it on social media. Let’s help all our shelters $3 at a time.
Animal Manor Sanctuary, 204 Peenpack Trail, Huguenot, NY 12746
Blue’s K9 Rescue Inc., 910 Tower Ave., Maybrook, NY 12543; APP: [email protected]
Canine Sanctuary, PO Box 52, Mountainville, NY 10953
Catskill Animal Rescue Inc., 263 Old Monticello Road, Ferndale, NY 12734
Undervalued Stray Animal Rescue, 76 Houston Ave. Middletown, NY 10940
Equine Rescue Inc., PO Box 275, Bloomingburg, NY 12721-0275
Equine Rescue Resource Inc., PO Box 17, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Goshen Humane Society Inc., PO Box 37, Goshen, NY 10924; facebook.com
Hollywood Dog Rescue, 11 Stella Lane, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Hudson Valley SPCA-Orange County, 940 Little Britain Road, New Windsor, NY 12553
Hudson Valley Humane Law Enforcement, PO Box 4257, New Windsor, NY 12553
Humane Society of Blooming Grove, PO Box 226, Washingtonville, NY 10992
Humane Society of Middletown Inc., 142 Bloomingburg Road, Middletown, NY 10940; middletownhumanesociety.com
Humane Society of Port Jervis/Deerpark, 202 Route 209, Port Jervis, NY 12771
Humane Society of Walden, 2489 Albany Post Road, Walden, NY 12586; waldenhumane.org
Matt’s Cats: MDW Feline Rescue, PO Box 10091, Newburgh, NY 12553
Mid Hudson Animal Aid, PPA: [email protected]
Newburgh SCATS, PO Box 10443, Newburgh, NY 12552; [email protected]
Pets Alive, 363 Derby Road, Middletown, NY 10940; bit.ly/PetsAliveThreeDollar
Precious Paws, PO Box 454, Vails Gate, NY 12584; preciouspawsny.org
Reenies Rabbit Rescue, PO Box 2, Salisbury Mills, NY 12577
Sandy’s Tattered Tails Animal Sanctuary, PO Box 401, Pine Bush, NY 12566; APP: [email protected]
Sullivan County SPCA, PO Box 995, Rock Hill, NY 12775; sullivanspca.org
Take Me Home Pet Rescue, PO Box 490, Milton, NY 12547; tmhpetrescue.com
The Animal Rights Alliance, PO Box 185, Warwick, NY 10990; tara-spayneuter.org/donate.htm
City of Newburgh Animal Shelter, 645 Gidney Ave., Newburgh, NY 12550
City of Saugerties Animal Shelter, c/o E. Monfett, 85 Scott Lane, Saugerties, NY 12477
Warwick Valley Humane Society Inc., PO Box 61, Warwick, NY 10990; wvhumane.org
Will Spay Pets Inc., PO Box 127, Montgomery, NY 12549
Woodbury Animal Shelter, PO Box 1004, Highland Mills, NY 10930