Two Mills County animal advocacy agencies are kicking off separate fundraising efforts to improve their animal rescue and protection services.
The Loess Hills Humane Society/Lied Animal Shelter, which closed its doors in July because of financial difficulties and impending flooding concerns at its 221st Street location, is planning a complete re-branding of its name, services and staff. At the same time, Hooves and Paws, Inc., which specializes in the rescue and care for horses and large-breed dogs, is expanding its operations and building a shelter that will accept horses, all sizes of dogs and a limited number of cats on the non-profit’s current location at 27821 U.S. Highway 34 near Glenwood.
A steering committee formed following the closing of LHHS has elected a provisional board tasked with raising $50,000 to re-open the shelter. The new shelter would be open seven days a week, have three part-time staffers and offer dog and cat adoptions as well as county dog licensing and stray and hold drop-off. The shelter will no longer offer animal control services.
If the money is raised by Oct. 3, the shelter would re-open Oct. 15.
“We raise that money or we don’t open the doors,” said Lyn Mintle, president of the provisional board. “Now is the time. The community needs to either step up and say, ‘Yes, we want the shelter,’ or we find out maybe it’s not that important to Mills County to have an animal shelter and we won’t even try and open the doors.”
If the money is not raised, the group will sell the shelter contents and the property.
The Mills County Board of Supervisors has granted the shelter the stray/hold contract for next year, which means $18,750 in projected revenue.
“They’re willing to step up to the plate and they believe we can make this happen. This shows what’s been missing with this group. There’s never been a real grassroots community participation fund,” Mintle said. “There’s people that volunteer, but we also need to have the money to operate.”
The shelter’s provisional board decided early on, the goal was six months of financial solvency which would cover the shelter’s expenses for that period of time in addition to the looming $20,000 mortgage payment due in January.
The shelter projects expenses for the next fiscal year at $128,750. As of now, the shelter projects revenues of $78,750, including more than $26,000 coming from it’s in-county stray/hold contract and adoption fees and $36,000 of new income from a proposed plan to offer rescue group kennel leasing. The $50,000 raised from fundraising efforts would off-set remaining expenses.
Tax-deductible membership donations to the shelter are offered from $50 for an annual individual membership all the way up to $1,000 for a platinum circle “Friends of Animals” donation.
To donate to Loess Hills Animal Rescue/Lied Animal Shelter visit www.loesshillsanimalrescue.org or write to Loess Hills Animal Rescue/ Lied Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 571, Glenwood, Iowa, 51534.
Hooves and Paws has been providing rescue work for abused, neglected and unwanted animals from around the nation. Bill and Genea Stoops pride themselves on providing Mills County and southwest Iowa with a “no-kill” animal shelter that has placed over 400 horses and 200-300 dogs over the past five years. Genea Stoops said Hooves and Paws has seen an increase of animals from Mills County since the Loess Hills Humane Society ceased operations in June.
“We saw an increase, obviously, but we were getting calls anyway because we’re here 24-7,” Stoops said.
Stoops said she’s aware of the plan to get the LHHS up and running again.
“We’re not in competition,” she said. “We considered taking the shelter over (after it closed), but didn’t because of its location and with the stigma it has, Mills County residents won’t support it.”
Stoops said the first phase of the Hooves and Paws expansion will carry a price tag of $120,000. In addition to cash contributions, Hooves and Paws is also accepting donations of hay and animal food. Adult volunteers are also being sought.
Hooves and Paws may be reached by calling 712-355-3721. Financial donations may be made through the shelter’s website, www.hoovespaws.org or by mailing to Hooves and Paws, 27821 U.S. Highway 34, Glenwood, Iowa, 51534.