Humane Society steps up development

Humane Society of the Piedmont
Humane Society of the Piedmont

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — At the Humane Society of the Piedmont on at 4527 West Wendover Ave. west of Greensboro, a mound of dirt has obscured the group’s facility, including its clinic that spayed and neutered over 10,500 cats and dogs in the fiscal year ended June 30.

Now, thanks to a donor, the mound has been leveled, making the facility more visible from the road and creating space for more parking and an expanded outside area for dogs.

The facility’s low visibility from the road has mirrored the nonprofit’s low visibility in the community, an under-appreciated status its new executive director aims to change.

“We’re doing good work, and it’s my job to make that not be so quiet anymore,” says Robin Lindsey, a former vice president for resource development at United Way of Greater Greensboro who joined the Humane Society in May after working for a year-and-a-half as a free-lance fundraiser for special events for nonprofits.

Formed in the 1920s as a society and incorporated in 1953 as a nonprofit, the Humane Society has the mission of preventing cruelty to animals and pet overpopulation, and promoting humane education.

The group operates with an annual budget of roughly $200,000, excluding its main program, a spay-and-neuter clinic, Planned Pethood, that is owned and operated by Dr. Joy McMillian.

The clinic can handle up to 80 to 90 animals a day, and typically serves 60 to 70 a day.

Animal foster and rescue groups, as well as individuals, bring animals to the clinic for spaying and neutering, with fees ranging from $63 and $73 for male and female dogs, respectively, and $43 and $58 for male and female cats, respectively.

The clinic also gives rabies shots to animals if they do not have proof they have had a shot.

Roughly 42 percent of the animals the clinic spays and neuters are transported from other counties.

Rockingham County, for example, has a new animal shelter, Lindsey says, but it has no clinic.

“It’s more effective for us to go and pick up their animals in our transport vehicle, spay and neuter them here, and return those animals” to the Rockingham shelter, she says.

A priority for Lindsey is to double the Humane Society’s annual budget within two years.

With all funds now generated by private donations, mainly from individuals but also from foundations and a few corporations, she says, her strategy will be to spread the word in the community about the organization’s work.

So she will be talking to her business contacts and to civic groups, and training volunteers to serve as ambassadors to speak to civic groups, churches and schools.

And with the help of a board member, she is redesigning the organization’s website.

“We are offering low-cost spaying and neutering programs to the general public, as well as surrounding counties that don’t have a facility,” Lindsey says.

If pets reproduce, she says, it is expensive to keep them and maintain their health.

“It’s all about keeping the pet population down and adoptions up,” she says.

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