I recently read the article in the Daily American about the newly established organization attempting to raise money through donations to construct a building to house stray and otherwise neglected animals ("Animal rescue group seeks building to save more animals," Jan. 27). The call for donations was for $200,000, of which they had about $3,000. This is a lot of money to be found in a public that is already stressed with requests for donations, ever-rising taxes, never-rising household incomes, increasing cost of living expenses, rising medical costs in an aging population and all the other expenses that we all attempt to cover in our daily lives.
My first thought when I read this was, "Why are these individuals wanting to start another organization when we already have the Somerset County Humane Society?" This long-standing agency is in desperate need for donations to complete an already standing building; improve the current animal housing facility; pay for personnel as support staff, walkers and cleaners; and cover the expenses of a myriad of other projects that need done around such a facility. My second thought was, "Even if this new organization raises the $200,000 for the building, how are they going to continue to pay the annual operating, maintenance, animal care and other expenses associated with an animal rescue facility?" And if this organization is unable to pay these long-term costs, the $200,000 that the public so generously donated will have been wasted and now someone has a building on their property paid for by donated dollars.
As with all levels of government (national, state and local), there seems to be the belief on the part of some individuals that the public is a never-ending source of income for them to meet their interests and goals. You may have noticed during the past few years the number of service organizations (fire, police, ambulance) that have considered or even committed to combining their services in order to reduce costs and increase support to all areas under their jurisdiction. I, too, am a person who has great empathy and desire to help our furry friends who so desperately need our support, but I believe we need to combine our efforts.
In addition to the Somerset County Humane Society and this new organization, I am aware of at least one other organization that does animal rescue in Somerset County and there may be others. I do not know the inner workings or thinking of any of these organizations. However, my suggestion to all of them is to please start talking and working together, reach compromise on your differences (don't be like our Congress), pool your resources into one organization and in the process relieve some of the pressure on the public's billfolds and its volunteers. Do you not recognize how much better life would be for all our neglected furry friends if there was one very nice facility to house and care for them, a place for the veterinarians visiting the facility to provide care to them, areas for personnel to groom and train them and a large pool of human resources to drawn on to attend to them? Yes, in this instance "it takes a village."
Lois A. Shuck