Homeward Bound Animal Shelter in need of support
MANISTEE — Caring for a pet can be an expensive responsibility. For Homeward Bound Animal Shelter, costs from food, cleaning supplies and veterinary care is compounded by over 50 cats and dogs.
Shelters like Homeward Bound in Manistee rely on donations to operate, but as some expenses have increased during the pandemic, donations have dwindled.
Coronavirus precautions have forced the nonprofit animal shelter to cancel or suspend most of its usual fundraising events and activities in 2020.
In their place, Homeward Bound has launched the Save the Paws campaign, an online fundraiser that will run through the end of the year.
“We’re hoping that this particular fundraiser will help raise funds … that we would have raised in our events, and since a lot of our donations are down this year, we’re hoping to spark some donations with this campaign,” said Colleen Kenny, Manistee County Humane Society president.
Fundraisers like Save the Paws help to raise money to cover the costs of animal care, vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and wellness exams, according to the shelter’s website.
“Donating to your local animal shelter definitely helps out with saving the animals that come here and to get them adopted into new loving homes,” said shelter manager Shareen Edmondson. “It helps us be able to take in animals that need to come in. All of our animals are spayed and neutered before adoption. All of them see a veterinarian before they’re adopted. It helps pay for all of the vaccinations they receive and medications that they get.”
While adoptions have remained somewhat steady during the pandemic, Kenny added that adoption fees are insufficient to fund day-to-day operations at the shelter.
Homeward Bound is looking to raise at least $20,000 through the online campaign.
While the shelter is unable to hold large in-person fundraising events this year, some are looking to help assist in filling the gap.
Karen Kolb and Nikki Schneider, co-owners of Patina in Onekama, are among those who want to aid Homeward Bound, by hosting their own fundraising efforts.
“We both have pets — she has Maxx and I have Curlie — and Homeward Bound has always been one of our favorite local charities,” Kolb said. “We try to do something for them every year to be able to make a donation.”
So when the animal shelter put out the call for donations, Kolb and Schneider decided to organize a fundraiser of their own at their store.
A donation jar will be in the store and anyone who makes a donation to Homeward Bound at Patina will receive a free gift item from the shop.
All money raised during the event will go to Homeward Bound, Kolb said.
“These are items that we would sell in the store,” Kolb said. “Anything that you would normally find in Patina that would be for sale, we’ve put together as free gifts.”
Kolb said that it is important to give back to the local animal shelter, especially during difficult times.
“They won’t survive without local input,” she said. “They are not able to do that and it is a service that they provide, not only to save pets … but also to provide pets for families. As a homeowner I have to say that a pet enriches your life, so to me that’s an invaluable service that they provide and they run an excellent facility.”
Those interested in donating to Homeward Bound and contributing to the Save the Paws campaign are encouraged to visit homewardboundmanistee.org. Donations can also be mailed directly to Homeward Bound Animal Shelter, 736 Paws Trail, P.O. Box 144, Manistee, MI 49660.