Without funds, animal shelter will soon close

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  • Xavier lives at the Goshen Humane Society's shelter, 44 Police Drive, where he awaits a permanent home. He's completely housebroken and loves people and active play. Like what you see? Drop by or give the shelter a call at 294-3984. (Photo provided)

To the Editor:

It has been a while since I’ve written an article regarding The Goshen Humane Society. Our shelter is not doing well financially, at all. Quite a few years ago the financial support Goshen Humane receives from both the Village and Town of Goshen was cut substantially. These reductions in funding continued over the next several years. Currently our shelter receives $36,000 per year, total from both the Town and Village of Goshen. The annual expenses to run our shelter are approximately $95,000 to $100,000. Veterinarian bills some months can exceed $3,000. We lost Dr. Kevin Corr when he moved to Michigan. Dr. Corr came to our shelter at least once per week to do rabies vaccines and whatever other procedures he could safely do at the shelter. Everything Dr. Corr, did, he did for free. Now we have to pay for these services. We have utility bills, insurance bills, payroll, cat and dog food, kitty litter, medications, etc. We do receive some donated food, but usually we have to buy more. Our shelter has three paid employees. Liz Drake, our shelter manager, probably works a minimum of 75 hours per week, and gets paid for only 35-38 hours. The rest she volunteers. Our other two employees are part-time. Board members are all volunteers. Everyone else is a volunteer. Blooming Grove Humane Society receives $75,000 per year. Goshen Humane has to fund raise approximately $60,000 per year, every year. We actually have to fund raise just to make payroll.

Years ago our shelter received a gift of $100,000 from Mrs. Jane Chertock. We used that money to enlarge the shelter. At that time, the shelter had four dog runs and usually had 7 to 8 dogs at any time. We needed more dog runs. We had no idea the funding was going to be cut shortly after we put on the addition. I do not regret adding the addition, as our shelter is much more suitable to properly house our dogs and cats. We now have 12 dog runs, and 14 dogs. Sometimes the number of dogs is even higher. We have well over 50 cats. Most of the dogs we currently have waiting for permanent homes are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. Some of these dogs have been with us for two or three years. Because they are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, no one is interested in them and so they are still with us. Since we are a no-kill shelter, we will probably have these dogs until they pass away from natural causes. Not that we would ever consider putting them down anyway. These are all good dogs and it’d be great if people would get a little more educated about pit bulls and consider giving one of ours a home. Due to the current dog situation, we have not been receiving any surrender or adoption fees for dogs because we are caught in this cycle.

Currently we have some fund raisers planned, but even with them, our shelter cannot keep its doors open much past the end of this year, if we are lucky. Year after year Susan and I have written letters and articles asking local residents to step up and help out. Very few have ever responded. Kathy and Trish Sherlock and a few others have helped with our last few fundraisers and we made a decent amount of money, but we need to raise at least $60,000 per year, every year. It is pretty much impossible to do. Susan and I have run the shelter for eight years now. Running the shelter at times is challenging, but trying to raise $60,000 per year is impossible.

I am hoping that the town and village will be able to substantially increase our funding next year. That’s assuming we can stay open until then. A huge concern is what will happen to our shelter animals should we have to close our doors. Every other shelter in the area is packed with dogs and cats and I seriously doubt they would be able to take ours.

If you are wondering what you can do to help, you can organize a fundraiser for us. We need help. And we need a lot of it. And not just short term fund raising. We need it every month, without fail. This is your animal shelter. These are animals from your town and village. Please call Sue or I at 294-9101 with your plan to help Goshen Humane Society. It is crunch time, and a lot of good dogs and cats lives depend on you taking action.

Rick Bossley, Treasurer
Goshen Humane Society

Editor's note: The Goshen Humane Society's animal shelter is located at 44 Police Highway in Goshen and may be reached at 294-3984, or by email: goshenhumanesociety@gmail.com. To donate, mail checks to PO Box 37, Goshen NY 10924. Donations may also be made through the website: goshenhumanesociety.org.

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