Why now? And why DRHS?
Every year the number of animals and people in need of services increases dramatically.
The current DRHS facility at 175 N Crescent Ridge was designed to care for at most 3,600 animals per year. Last year DRHS cared for over 5,500. The ever increasing need for services has already outstripped our capacity, and without a significant investment in new facilities, the problem will only become worse until services become compromised and the community is left without the resources it needs.
Our current facility simply can't meet the need. For example, a person surrendering an animal currently stands at a counter and has to endure the situation publicly. Our veterinarians currently perform all care, including surgeries and evaluations, out of a room not much bigger than a closet. Our education and training classroom is up a flight of stairs, preventing people with physical challenges from receiving critical services they need to forge strong bonds with their pets. Our most difficult challenge is that we're landlocked, with absolutely no room to expand.
Since its founding in 1901, DRHS has been answering the needs of animals in our community. Today, we are the only animal shelter in the tri-state area providing refuge to all animals in need, regardless of species, breed, age, health or temperament, with no time limits on how long an animal stays up for adoption. We are the only shelter offering assistance to struggling families of animals with a low-income spay/neuter program and sharing of donated pet food and supplies. We are the only one with veterinarians and animal cruelty investigators on staff, and we are the only one that spays or neuters all animals before they leave the shelter, ensuring our animals are not adding to pet overpopulation.
DRHS is positioned to answer these challenges, with our unique offering of programs and services strategically designed to provide solutions, the outstanding leadership of Jane McCall, a well known champion of animals, and the oversight of a committed board of community leaders. (Include sidebars listing board of directors and showing financial information).
Quite simply, we believe this is the right thing to do.
Animals have needs and feelings, just as we do. They deserve to be treated compassionately, with respect for the inherent dignity of all living creatures.
Animals used to be intimately entwined in our daily lives, from pulling our plows and wagons to protecting our livelihoods and families. As society has become less dependent on them, it's also lost some of the ingrained beliefs of how important they truly are and how they deserve to be treated and managed. We recognize that the problems they have are not of their own making. The animals can't solve these problems, so it's up to us, now, to do it for them.
It's not far-fetched; it's a dream. And if enough people believe, it will become reality.