A toast to the animals fundraiser Feb. 16 in Elbow Lake [UPDATED]Published 9:22am Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Updated 11:23am Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The Grant County Humane Society has figured out a fun way to draw attention to the needs of abandoned and stray animals. A wine tasting fundraiser is planned from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Knotty Pine Bar and Grill in Elbow Lake.
GCHS, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, is hoping to draw attention to the needs of the shelter, which has seen a significant growth in the number of animals it cares for. New homes were found for 79 dogs and 45 cats in 2012 through GCHS, and several more lost animals have found a temporary safe haven at GCHS while waiting to be reclaimed by their owners.
On Thursday, one resident was in the shelter lobby, anxiously waiting to go home with his new family.
Kota, a dog of mixed origins, was removed from a home with too many animals — 13 dogs and 12 cats. Kota spent much of his time locked in a dirty crate, rarely getting to go outside. After a short time at the shelter, with love, attention and medical treatment, Kota is everyone’s best friend.
“I see you already met Kota,” said Board President Jan Holsen. “We just can’t keep him out of the lobby — he really loves being around people.”
The Grant County Humane Society is a “no kill” shelter, except in the case of medical necessity. Until recently there was no paid staff, so the shelter relied solely on volunteers and employment programs to cover the 70 to 80 hours a week in direct-care chores.
“Sometimes the help from the employment programs was cut off with little notice,” said Holsen. “It’s too difficult to maintain regular hours without enough consistent help.”
The Humane Society is implementing their first paid staff member, but still relies heavily on volunteers and donations to keep the shelter doors open.
“It costs over $60 a day to keep the doors open, not including vet costs,” said Holsen.
Animals not re-claimed by their owners are taken to the vet for an examination, vaccinations and spay or neutering. When an animal is adopted, they are up to date on all of their medical requirements.
Board member Beth Palm, who was volunteering at the front desk on Thursday, said there are many ways to help out at GCHS.
“People can help with office duties, maintaining the lobby and answering phones, be a dog walker, or brush and socialize with the animals,” said Palm. “It’s also a great family activity to come and volunteer with your kids.”
Tyler Ryckman was also volunteering Thursday, taking care of chores around the kennels in the back.
“I like the animals, and it makes me feel good when I help out,” said Ryckman.
Holsen would like to remind people to include GCHS as part of their charitable giving.
“This will be the first time we have done the toast to the Grant County Humane Society Animals event,” said Holsen. “It will be a really fun evening.”
In addition to wine tasting at the Knotty Pine on Feb. 16, there will be complimentary hors d’ oeuvres and a silent auction.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and each ticket holder gets to keep a hand-painted wine glass.
For more information, drop by the shelter at 1015 State Hwy. 79 in Elbow Lake, or call 218-685-6220.