Community responds to Kingston Humane Society’s plea for help

On Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) issued a plea for help to the community. At that time, the KHS was well beyond its capacity to look after all the animals in their care, and had more animals at the shelter than at any other time in its 137-year history.

Just over a month later, thanks to an incredible response, the numbers have dropped by 55 per cent. In just a few short weeks, donations poured in to assist with care and treatment as did applications for foster volunteers and adoptions, according to a release from KHS.

“It was pretty incredible to see this community rally to our call for help,” said Executive Director Gord Hunter, “Just a few days after the story came out, I got a call from [local philanthropists] Linda Ann Daly and Walter Fenlon. They were so moved by our situation that they donated $30,000. I was speechless and quite emotional during the phone call.”

In addition to that substantial donation, online support topped $21,000 and the massive number of adoption and foster applications got animals into forever homes or into temporary homes awaiting adoption, the organization stated. They have had so many applications that the KHS is now booking adoption pick-ups as much as two to three weeks out due to the demand.

As “Giving Tuesday” approaches on November 30th – a date recently given over to online support of charitable organizations – Hunter is updating the community on the current situation at the KHS. “With 146 cats and 44 dogs, we’re still over our 140-animal capacity,” he said, “and because of the recent spike in COVID numbers, we’ve reverted to two separate cohorts. That means longer shifts and fewer animal care staff in the building each day, but the situation is much more manageable.”

It has been an unpredictable year for the Kingston Humane Society. Early in 2021, intakes were down by 40 per cent and by the fall they were up by 112 per cent. In August, an X-ray machine that St. Lawrence College had shared with the shelter for many years as part of Veterinary Technology program was moved back to the college. According to the release, the replacement cost was just over $52,000.

“Between replacing the X-ray machine on short notice, being way over capacity, and our aging building, we’ve really struggled with unexpected costs and repairs,” noted Hunter.

November marks the beginning of the KHS direct mail campaign; the single biggest funding drive of the year. This year, KHS said the campaign focuses on the costs of after-hours care.

While the KHS has a talented and dedicated veterinary staff, they depend on local after-hours clinics to care for very sick and injured animals on weekends or overnights, according to the release. For the first nine months of 2021 after-hours care amounted to $47,706.

As the season of giving approaches, the KHS would like to thank everyone for their continued generosity and support. They simply could not do it without the backing of the community, they said.

One thought on “Community responds to Kingston Humane Society’s plea for help

  • This exemplifies the need for low cost or free spay/neuter clinics. Regular vet fees are so high that most low and middle class pet owners have trouble paying for even the most basic care.

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