EAST MONTPELIER — They need a home.
The Central Vermont Humane Society reports that its shelter is full of animals waiting to find good homes and is seeking donations to meet its year-end fundraising goal.
“We’re the local animal shelter in the community and we need the community to step up because we’ve not had that many adopters come in,” said shelter Executive Director Lauria Garrison. “It’s the season of good will, and as a community organization we need our community to support us.”
“This is also our holiday fun drive, which is the largest fundraising push during the season of giving, and we definitely need people to donate to the shelter so that our senior animals can find their next home,” Anderson added.
November also is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, with a number of older dogs looking good homes.
Up for adoption right now are three senior dogs that shelter officials hope will appeal to animal lovers, Garrison said.
“Harley came to the shelter with two other small dogs when their owner passed away,” Garrison said. “Her son couldn’t take care of these three dogs, so he called us.”
Harley’s former owner rode a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and would carry Harley in a pouch and they would wear matching outfits, including leather jackets, hence his name, Garrison said.
Harley is diabetic and needs insulin shots twice a day.
“This makes him a tough adoption,” Garrison said. “We know that special person is out there to adopt this special boy; we just have to find that person.”
Two other senior dogs looking for homes are Chakra, an 11-year-old, and a St. Bernard named Ally, aged 9, which Garrison noted was old for the breed.
“These senior pets break my heart because they should not be spending their precious remaining days here at the shelter,” Garrison said. “They need a loving family and a soft couch to call their own.”
“The shelter has 16 kennels and 19 dogs so we’re clearly over capacity,” Garrison continued. “Sometimes we need to make a little extra push because winter is coming. We’re hoping that people will say, ‘I want a dog,’ not be put off by the snow, and be a true Vermonter and go outside and hike with your dog.”
“There’s all kinds of studies that show having a pet, whether a cat or a dog, improves your overall health. These animals need a home, so c’mon!” Garrison added.
Garrison said the shelter had been doing better at finding homes for cats. As a rescue partner with an animal shelter in Maryland which was crowded, the local shelter accepted a delivery of out-of-state animals and will stage a kitten adoption drive with 15 to 20 kittens at 802 Toyota in Berlin on Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The shelter’s holiday appeal of $90,000 is the third major fund drive of the year which began last week and will extend through the end of January.
“Last year, we did very well with individual contributions, so this is a very important time of year for us, and a kind of make-or-break time for us,” Garrison said.
Garrison noted last year’s strong fund drive may have been driven by charitable donations ahead of changes to the tax code that make it harder to deduct donations in future.
“So, we’re a little nervous that we’re not going to make our goal,” Garrison said. “We have to make our goal to do what we do.”
The annual Walk for Animals in June exceeded the budget target of $63,000 by raising $80,000 this year.
Similarly, Fur Fest, a cocktail reception with silent and live auctions at the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre last month, exceeded its budget target of $30,000, raising $38,000.
The shelter raises other funds from adoption fees of shelter animals.
The shelter’s budget this year is $803,000 to care for more than 1,000 animals a year.
For more information about the shelter, call 476-3811, ext. 110 or visit www.centralvermonthumane.org.