By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
For quite some time now, Rick K & The Allnighters has provided music for the Humane Society of Harrison County’s “Dance into Spring” event. According to Frankie Dennison, HSHC Director, their entertainment has a great deal to do with this annual fundraising event being so successful! So they are back this year by popular demand!
This spring event will be held Saturday, April 8th from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Village Square Conference Center in Clarksburg. If you failed to purchase tickets in advance, they will still be available at the door ($25 per person) on Saturday evening. However, with last minute ticket purchases, they cannot guarantee that large parties will be seated together.
A new policy was implemented last year that all food and beverages must be purchased from Village Square, but you can pre-order hors d’oeuvre trays in advance for your table; items such as chicken wings, cheese & veggie platters, fruit trays, pepperoni & chips will be offered.
Dress casually, and whether you choose to dance the night away or just sit and listen and watch, it promises to be an entertaining evening. This well-known show band will be offering tunes spanning several decades – from the 50’s through the 90’s. Their schedule is booked through December with stops in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
This is the Humane Society’s largest fundraiser of the year, typically generating as much as close to $10,000! Funding benefits veterinary care to promote the general health and wellness of animals sheltered at the Saltwell Road facility, which now features an on-site surgical suite to accommodate the shelter’s spay/neuter program.
“Just like everything else, we too are subject to inflation,” stated Dennison. “The cost of everything continues to rise and, therefore, we are always searching for new fundraisers to help meet our expenses. But our ‘Dance into Spring’ event is always well attended and a tremendous help to us.”
Dennison noted that people in the area often drop off supplies such as food, litter, and cleaning products, which are all greatly appreciated and leave more money available to them to go toward veterinary care. HCHS also has annual and monthly donors who help financially.
“Money is always welcomed!” Dennison added. “I don’t think people realize just how many animals come through our doors every year, but it nears the 800 mark! And this is always a busy time of year for us – between February and July. Right now, for example, we have over 30 dogs and about 20 cats, which are big numbers since we only have 16 kennels available. Many times we must utilize spare office space!”
The Harrison County Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and staff members work very hard to save as many animals as they can.
“Sometimes animals are surrendered to Animal Control or a stray animal is picked up by Animal Control. They can only stay there for five days, so if they are not claimed, we step in to rescue them … but we have limited space. I have even sent animals to other facilities as far away as Wisconsin, Connecticut and Maine in order to save them from being euthanized,” Dennison explained.
Those who love animals might want to consider opening their hearts to ‘fostering’ and keeping an animal temporarily until a loving permanent home can be found.
Dennison said it is very helpful when someone volunteers to foster new puppies and kittens in particular because they are too young to be vaccinated.
“At the shelter, they would be exposed to anything that might be within the shelter, and since they are not old enough to be vaccinated, it can create a problem. Placing them with a foster family helps to alleviate that exposure problem and frees the staff to devote time to the other sheltered animals,” Dennison continued. “Thankfully, right now I have a lady who is fostering two litters of kittens … but we also have four litters of puppies in the shelter right now!”
The Humane Society of Harrison County has six staff members – three full-time and three part-time, along with five permanent volunteers who rotate volunteer hours seven days a week. They always welcome volunteers; interested parties may call 304-592-1600!
Not all animals that arrive at the shelter are healthy! Those with health issues are of course treated so that they are strong and fit for adoption. Obviously, treating them with veterinary care can be costly! This is one of the key reasons that funds raised from “Dance into Spring” are so critical!!!! Consider attending … and enjoy a great evening for a truly worthy cause.