Pets in Need Society Year in Review - 2009
Pets in Need Society (PINS)
2009 Annual Review
David Kitson, President
Pets In Need Society is a total volunteer organization in Meade County that was started in January 2000, and its first wreath festival was held that December. At its inception, a small group of caring and compassionate people met to address the deplorable conditions at the Meade County animal shelter. Led by founding President, Karen Kennedy, and Vice President, Deb Sobel, the group quickly organized and planned for a major renovation of the shelter. As word of the group's efforts spread throughout the community, so did the financial and moral support of the private citizens and local businesses. By November 2001, PINS volunteers and supporters had transformed the once neglected, disease ridden dog pound into a functional, clean and healthy animal shelter where residents can recover lost pets or adopt new ones. It took hundreds of hours of volunteer labor and $55,000 of donated funds and materials for the shelter to become a respectable facility for Meade County residents.
As the organization grew, its mission expanded. In 2006, PINS members began working with local county officials to create a comprehensive, enforceable animal care and control ordinance that would establish minimum acceptable standards of care for all animals in Meade County, and prescribe harsh penalties for animal cruelty, neglect or abuse. The ordinance was passed in April 2007.
PINS has become one of the largest nonprofit organizations in Meade County. PINS goal is simple – increase public awareness of animal welfare issues in our communities and reduce the number of unwanted animals entering our local animal shelter. This is being accomplished through an aggressive spay/neuter assistance program coupled with a very effective humane education program. To this end, PINS works closely with the Meade County Veterinary Service and the Midway Veterinary Clinic to provide funds for low cost spays and neuters of dogs and cats. PINS also has an active education program. It utilizes this program to reach out to the community and teach responsible pet ownership and pet care. The programs are demonstrated in the local schools and various community events. Some of these events include the annual Pet festival with blessing of the animals, farm and home safety day, elementary classroom presentations, and Public Library Story time. We will present our message whenever and wherever we are invited to include 4H groups, classrooms, civic organizations, festivals, and TV and radio programs. We are the human voices for the animals in Meade County.
The Meade County Chamber of Commerce recognized the hard work of PINS by awarding it the Meade County Chamber of Commerce 2008 Community Achievement Award, on April 2, 2008. The award was presented by the guest of honor, Kentucky Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo to PINS representatives, President Liz Bell and vice president, Jennifer Marshall. This award is presented annually in recognition of exceptional volunteer service to the life and welfare of the community.
The PINS statistics for 2009 are almost unbelievable. PINS, for the first time exceeded our goal of 600 and spayed or neutered a total of 617 cats and dogs in Meade County this year, for a total cost to the club of $27,150. Since the inception of PINS, the number of animals that have been fixed each year has increased from 62 in 2000 to this year’s high of 617. Included in the 617 animals served this year, 193 of them were adopted from the shelter. Simply stated, that is 617 animals that are not adding to the cat and dog population of Meade County, and 193 innocent animals that did not need to be put to sleep. Can you imagine how many stray animals we would have in our area if not for this program? PINS is having a direct and positive impact on this community. Since implementation of the spay/neuter program in 2001, there has been a significant decline in the total number of unwanted pets entering shelters, as well as fewer unwanted puppies and kittens born in the county, or running loose. To date, PINS has helped spay or neuter a total of 4,166 dogs and cats in Meade County. PINS does this by providing financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford to pay the full costs of spay/neuter surgery. No pet should be allowed to breed simply because the owner cannot afford the cost of this procedure.
PINS could not be as effective as they are without the help of the county animal control officer, Tom Brady, and his assistant, Jasper Hardesty. These two men work hard and offer the animals the best living conditions possible. They keep the kennel comfortable and clean, always having the animals ready to be shown to their potential new owners. Over the years, PINS has assisted the animal control office by painting and sprucing up the shelter, to include adding a beautiful mural on the inside walls.
In July of 2009 Orscheln Home & Farm Store offered PINS the opportunity to show Meade County Shelter animals in the store for adoption. Member and Animal Rescue and Transporter Connie Mullins sprang to the call. She quickly organized transport and volunteers to show and adopt animals at Orscheln. Her efforts has resulted in the adoption of over 150 animals in just 6 months.
Unfortunately, with our current economic situation, more dogs and cats are being turned into the shelter because their owners are not able to care for their beloved pets. In spite of the bleak financial picture, PINS will continue to pay 100% of the cost of spay or neuter for animals adopted from the shelter, but had to change our supplemental payments for personal pets. Effective January 2009, and continuing until the economy begins to improve, PINS will pay $25 towards spay or neuter of a cat, and $40 for dogs.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, PINS paid over $27,000 to have Meade County dogs and cats spayed or neutered. As PINS is a registered nonprofit organization, all expenses must be raised by the members. To meet the costs of maintaining the PINS programs, many hours are spent by the members preparing for and working at local fund raisers. We have an annual bowling tournament at Lynn’s Pins. The spring and fall yard sale helps with our fundraising and we collect items all year for this. Thanks to our members and supporters donating items, PINS earns about $1,000 at each yard sale. A simple way to help PINS all year long is to drop your loose change into one of our collection boxes (a miniature dog house) at 12 various local businesses. Small things add up! Of course, our biggest fund raiser is the annual wreath festival at the courthouse which begins the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. This festival, with its generous business and individual sponsors, earns around $8,000 annually. As you can see, PINS must work very hard to meet the budget each year.
Fortunately, we have an eager group of volunteers ready to lead the Pets In Need Society in 2009. Newly elected officers are President David Kitson and Vice-president Liz Bell, secretary Annette Hornsby will keep the minutes, and Ellen Allgor will post the treasurer books. In addition, board members are Deb Sobel, Leslie Humphrey and Don Frenzl. One other voluntary, but most important position is that of the person who returns the calls on our PINS phone line, Doris Reesor. She returns more than 100 inquires each month and issues the spay and neuter vouchers.
PINS currently has over 100 animal loving, motivated and energetic volunteers. Meetings are held the 4th Monday of every month at Little Dave's Restaurant. Meetings start promptly at 7 pm. Many members come around 6:30 and have supper prior to the meeting. We encourage all members of PINS to attend the meetings, and invite the community to come out and see what we are all about. Dues are only $10 a year, $5 for junior members, and $25 for a business member. Memberships expire in March and if you join now, your membership will be good until March of 2010. Join us and help make a difference in Meade County. For more information, call any officer, or the PINS information line at 270-422-3838.
In 2009 Pets In Need Society provided over $27K to residents of Meade County Kentucky for financial assistance to spay/neuter 617 animals. (See sheet below)