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HSOY wins $10,000 to be used for new shelter
Thanks to an incorrect posting on a website, Humane Society of Yuma is being awarded $10,000, although the group was about 300 votes shy of winning an online contest.
HSOY development director Cookie Wagter said she looked at HSOY's online profile the day after the Chase Community Giving contest ended. The website said HSOY was a $10,000 award recipient. But when she looked back later that day, the post was gone.
Luckily, she had taken a picture of the page and emailed Chase about the mix-up. The bank apologized and said that mistakes were made while adding up the tallies and HSOY wasn't a winner.
“But then on Friday afternoon, (Chase announced) they had reviewed it and they decided that they would award the $10,000 to all the people who they had inadvertently said had won,” said Wagter. “That's really wonderful of Chase. They didn't have to do that and we knew we didn't get the required votes needed for what they were giving, but they came through.”
Wagter said the funds will be used for the new animal shelter. HSOY is still looking to raise a little more than $1 million from the community for the facility, which is a $3 million-plus project.
“There's 62,000 pet owners in Yuma according to the last census, so if everyone gave $25, we'd be over the top.”
HSOY plans to open the new shelter to the public by the end of November, thanks to a loan it was able to secure for the remaining portion of the funds needed.
It is also hoping to raise funds through its annual Fur Ball on Oct. 13, which will be held in the new shelter's parking lot but is already sold out. Typically, she said, HSOY raises around $100,000 from each event.
Wagter said that the new shelter, located at 4050 4-1/2E between 4E and 5E on 40th Street, will be a great improvement from their current facility. With more kennel spaces to allow for a quarantine wing and a stray wing that will be separate from the who adoption wings, she said, animals will have a better chance at staying healthy.
“I go out to the new shelter about once a week and it just brings tears to my eyes because I know how much better it's going to be for the animals.”
Wagter said they are planning to sell the current shelter property at 285 N. Figueroa Ave. with the contingency that whoever buys it can't use it as a shelter because it is not conducive for that purpose.
The low-cost spay/neuter clinic at 3780 S. 4th Ave, No. H1, will also be moved to the new shelter.
After HSOY finishes raising funds for the shelter, it plans to raise money for an X-ray machine that costs about $40,000.
“An X-ray machine would allow us to save more animals,” said Wagter. “Right now if an animal comes in that's injured in any way, the only way we can even tell is to send it out for X-ray and we can't afford to do that because it costs $150 to $200. So unless the owner can pay for it, we can't do that.”
She added that they also hope to continue to increase the number of animals that they spay and neuter to fix the problem of overpopulation in Yuma.
“In 2007 we took in almost 12,000 animals and last year we took in almost 10,000. So we are making a difference but it's taking time and it doesn't happen overnight.”
Wagter said that since the spay and neuter clinic opened in March 2010, 6,000 animals have been altered.
“If you think of a litter of about six kittens or puppies, approximately... some are smaller, some are larger, and multiply that by 6,000, that's the amount we've saved so far.”
She said HSOY has gone down from a 70 percent euthanasia rate to 30 percent.
“That is really what we're pushing for. We want to stop the overpopulation and be an adoption center and not euthanize any animals. We would love to be a no-kill shelter but it takes the community.”
To donate to the new shelter project, Wagter said people can go online at www.hsoyuma.com or come to the current shelter or send it by mail.
Sarah Womer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.