After 2 years at the helm of the Associated Humane Societies, and 37 years in the organization, I continue to feel even more deeply involved with the mission of the organization. My position has never waivered.
Whether looking for a lost pet or adopting a new one, time spent at our Animal Care Centers can be a highly emotional time; we want those who visit to see it as one that at least leaves them with the knowledge that the animals are being given good care. We are overjoyed to hear from customers that their visit to the Society was a positive one.
As The Associated Humane Societies nears the eve of our 100th birthday celebration, it is important to our Board of Directors and our staff that the Animal Care Centers remain open and well funded. Unfortunately, since 9/11, donations have decreased substantially and with a budget that is now at $6 million, my primary task is to seek every avenue open to the Society to gain additional donations through fund raising events, seeking out wills and bequests, planned giving and more.
Our latest efforts and accomplishments include:
*The Society staffers have participated in events and we've broadened our media exposure to increase our organization's visibility.
*Our new web site has many expanded features and interactivity. Not only will articles about Society animals, rescues, Popcorn Park Zoo and other animal news be added regularly, but we are now able to accept donations online, including those to sponsorship programs and to special funds such as the Vested Interest Fund. Take a look at the Programs section of the site. You can now receive the magazine online, or we will be happy to continue to keep your postman employed.
*Most recently, Society staffers appeared on a UPN-9 public affairs program regarding the connection between animal abuse and human violence.
*The Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park Zoo also had our own space at the Super Pet Expo Feb. 11-13 and met many old friends ... and made many new ones.
*A microchip clinic was held on Feb. 14th -- Pet Theft Awareness Day. There are more planned activities throughout the year. We are utilizing our own staff as much as possible in these events to keep the costs down.
*Personnel from the Society attended various seminars on planned giving, a conference held by one of the national humane organizations, hosted a tour for ASPCA staff, etc.
*In other news, logo ideas were submitted to the Society and we came up with one that says it all from Peggy Dreher of Bridgeton, N J -- the logo will be used on caps, t-shirts, badges, stationery, etc so that we will be recognized by the public. Another logo that seems to suit Popcorn Park Zoo will be used on Certificates, t-shirts, teddy bears, etc. for the younger set; and on items to be sold at the zoo's gift shop. The logo was done by Ted Hammond of Clinton, Oklahoma. Please click here to view our new logos.
*We continue to work closely with responsible rescue groups.
*Popcorn Park Zoo became home to Princess the Bactrian Camel that was rescued from the Doris Duke Estate in Hillsborough, N J., as well as a coatimundi, civet cat and an elderly macaque named Cheryl.
*We have installed a video surveillance system at the Newark and Tinton Falls Animal Care Centers for security purposes.
But for my course of personal action, I've had to take a hard look at how and where the Society obtains and utilizes our funds.
*Research of facilities nationwide who provide animal control services revealed we have been generous to a fault for too long a time. This necessitated raising the fees of many of our animal control contracts with various municipalities. The fees had been so low, it was draining our resources.
*We also continue to work with a financial investment group, and have made arrangements with a new company to deal with all credit card donations in which the Society is given a lower interest rate than our previous bank.
*Admission fees to Popcorn Park Zoo were made slightly higher.
*We are presently in discussions to install a new program for donation management systems.
*And we've hired a CPA to visit the Society on a monthly basis to oversee accounting procedures.
There continue to be lots of changes....and yet -- MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL... NOTHING HAS CHANGED REGARDING OUR MISSION AND COMMITMENT TO UNWANTED, ABUSED, HANDICAPPED, WILDLIFE, EXOTICS, FARM ANIMALS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS. Everything we do, we do for them. It is a continuing struggle to keep financially sound. We need your help now more than ever. Thank you for reading about and supporting our efforts.
If you need any information, you can write to the Society or e-mail us by simply clicking here.