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Walk for Animals: Benefits Animal Humane Society

By Lavender April 24, 2009

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AHS is in great need of foster families for a new program called Mission Meow, which was created to deal with the rising influx of cats surrendered to AHS during the summer months.

The animals that share our lives are such a blessing. They not only lavish us with affection, but also elevate our mood, and thus benefit our overall health. Caring for a companion animal is one of the most rewarding experiences we can have. All our pets require of us in return is food, water, basic health care, and our love.

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to provide the necessary amount of care for their animals, so the local Animal Humane Society (AHS) steps in, providing strays and other unwanted animals with food, shelter, and health care in order to facilitate adoptions. AHS also educates the public about animals, provides pet therapy to area organizations, responds to cases of animal cruelty, helps owners train and socialize their pets, and offers boarding facilities.

As AHS Media Relations and Marketing Manager Deb Balzer says, “The bottom line is, we’re here for all stages of an animal’s life.

AHS is not supported financially by the government. It is a nonprofit organization only able to do its work through donations, which, unlike some charities, primarily go to help animals, not to salaries.

Balzer points out, “We want people to understand that when they give money, the majority of that goes for the care of animals. [The] Animal Human Society is very proud to have received a four-star rating from the Charity Navigator, as well as meeting all standards of the Charity Review Council.”

It’s sad that AHS is not able to help every animal as much as it would like, but when the organization can place a pet in a good home, it is a joyful thing for everyone who works there.
“We fall in love with animals every day here. We can’t help it—we’re softies!” Balzer enthuses.
Recalling the story of Jackson, an older black Labrador that couldn’t find a new family for quite some time, Balzer shares, “People here just fell in love with him, but he just kept being overlooked, because he’s not a puppy.”

Finally, AHS tried sending Jackson to a different location—it has facilities in Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Golden Valley, St. Paul, and Woodbury—and he soon found a new home.

The only way AHS can continue to help animals that come to its doors is through its successful fund-raising efforts, the biggest of which is its annual Walk for Animals, now in its 35th year. This year’s event, May 2, at the Golden Valley location, 845 Meadow Lane North, is expected to raise a million dollars.

In addition to the walk itself, where participants collect pledges from supporters or self-pledge, the day is packed with activities and events, such as the Top Model Dog Contest, tons of doggie games, a Tellington Touch Demonstration, face-painting, and many more activities for pets and families alike.

To participate in the walk as an individual or a team, to donate funds, or for volunteer opportunities, visit www.animalhumanesociety.org/walk. Raising money for the walk doesn’t have to be difficult—AHS’s Web site makes it very easy to make donations online.

Balzer remarks, “My partner and I don’t have children. We always support all of our coworkers’ children, and buy their cookies, so here’s an opportunity for us animal lovers to ask them to help with a pledge to help the animals.”

In addition, AHS is in great need of foster families for a new program called Mission Meow, which was created to deal with the rising influx of cats surrendered to AHS during the summer months. Mission Meow places these adult cats in foster families for the summer, so they will have better odds of being adopted when numbers are more manageable in the winter.

Walk for Animals / May 2 / Animal Humane Society, 845 Meadow Ln. N., Golden Valley / www.animalhumanesociety.org/walk

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