While there are many wonderful animal welfare advocacy organizations out there, not all are created equal and this is certainly the case in the arena of national level organizations.
Did you know that the Humane Society of the United States is not an oversight or umbrella group for local humane societies? Rather, they are a national level lobbying and advocacy group that has distinct goals and objectives that are quite different from ours here at HSO and most local humane societies. They very rarely become involved in assisting with local rescue efforts, even when it is large scale hoarding situations that tap every resource a local organization has, whether it be financial, veterinary care, places to care for the rescued animals or transports. Their direct shelter grants comprise less than .5% of their annual budget. Yes, you read that correctly. Less than half of one percent. So those monthly $19.00 contributions are not directly helping animals anywhere, much less in your own community.
The ASPCA is a wonderful organization that does a great deal of good work. They give grants to local agencies and have helped us in our TNR program efforts. They also work at a national level in working to change laws and provide for the greater good of all animals. They do not have local chapters or operate local shelters outside of their hospital and shelter in New York. The American Humane Association is another organization that does give direct grants to 501(c)3 animal shelters for capital improvement type projects and assisting animals that have been victims of abuse.
On the other hand, local humane societies are established in your own community. Humane Society of the Ozarks has been in Fayetteville,AR since 1946 and has a rich history of directly contributing to the welfare of animals in NWA. We are a 501(c)3 organization in good standing since 1969. We are not tax-payer subsidized.
While we do not have a physical shelter, via our fostering program and partnerships with area veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, and doggie daycare facilities, we have taken custody of over 80 dogs in 2014 alone. We can provide medical care for dogs that is beyond what can be provided by local tax-payer funded shelters and are often called on to take these animals. We have a strong spay/neuter program that via grants to low cost spay/neuter facilities and our own reduced cost spay/neuter voucher program. We also provide emergency veterinary care voucher to qualified low-income pet owners, have a growing feral cat TNR program and provide grants and other assistance to smaller local shelters and rescue organizations. Our partnerships with other organizations help provide animal education programming throughout our region.
We hope that as you make your decisions for end of the year giving, plans for giving in 2015 or as a holiday gift that doesn’t take up space or leave a carbon footprint, you will considering giving to your local Humane Society of the Ozarks. It is only with your help we can continue our mission of actively working to overcome the challenges causing animals to be abandoned, abused and overpopulated in Northwest Arkansas.
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