The Giving Index: Capital Area Humane Society
Since 1936, the Capital Area Humane Society (CAHS) has adopted homeless animals to provide them a better home. In some cases, the owners can no longer afford to take care of their pet. In other cases, the owner has passed away or the animals were abused.
The Capital Area Humane Society relies on donations to keep them afloat during the holidays, and throughout the year.
Once they take animals in, they are vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped – all in preparation for adoption. Along with that, volunteers walk and interact with the pets. Volunteers also help with work beyond animal care, such as laundry, fundraising, and off-site events.
Beyond offering direct care for the animals, CAHS offers educational programs that consists of summer, winter and spring break camps. The programs teach kids how to be responsible when caring for a pet which involves spending time with the animals at the shelter.
“We are non-profit, which means we’re not funded by the government, we don’t receive any funds from any other shelters,” said Penny Pearsall-Myers, Interim Director of Community. “We’re completely independent and separate from any other Humane Societies and because of that, how we survive is donations.”
Pearsall-Myers has worked at the shelter for six years, where she trains and advises over 2,000 volunteers, manages social media, fundraising and speaks to the media. She also visits organizations that support the shelter to allow interaction with the animals.
“In a non-profit, everyone wears about three different hats and do all these different jobs,” Pearsall-Myers said. “Most of this position is just getting out into the community and making sure everyone is aware of all the good work we do. Also trying to get more organizations and businesses to support us and donate to us.”
CAHS receives donations every day, but they run out fast. Essential items that the shelter needs are break-away cat collars, dog collars, leashes, cat toys, clay litter, mini dog treats, cat food, dog food, laundry detergent, bleach, Windex and much more that can be found on their wish list.
In addition, CAHS also accepts used items such as towels and blankets, which they use daily.
Another way to donate is to host a birthday party that benefits the shelter - instead of asking for presents, the birthday girl/boy asks for donations. CAHS sees this frequently.
“When it’s a child, we usually get a pet out and take a picture to make a big deal out of it and post it on our page.” Pearsall-Myers said.
Although the shelter accepts a variety of items, there are some that are not helpful, and take up needed space. These include: pillows, medications, glass containers, fish tanks, heating lamps and sheets.
“We are busy year-round,” Pearsall-Myers said. “I think people like to give more during the holidays just because everybody is in the spirit and that’s what the holidays are about. So, we probably get more things on the holidays, but we need things year-round.”
Community members can drop off donations Monday-Friday 12p.m.-7p.m. and Saturdays from 10a.m.-5p.m. CAHS is located at 7095 West Grand River Avenue, in Lansing.
“We receive things all the time and we are so grateful,” Pearsall-Myers said. “But as large as we are and as many animals as we have…it doesn’t take very long to go through those things, we are always in need of things.”