Wet noses warm hearts

Being greeted by overcast skies, blasting circus music and tons of dogs ranging in all sizes is a good way to wake up on a temperate September morning. The Humane Society workers and volunteers scramble to put up dog and cat cages before the crowd of people show up. The volunteers far outnumber the actual workers, and it’s actually hard to keep track of them except for the bright yellow volunteer shirts they all wear.

“We have about 16 board members and a bunch of volunteers,” Nicole Baldwin, supervisor of the Humane Society said.

Volunteers get to walk dogs and set up cages. Each volunteer gets a card full of information about the dog they are walking, in case a potential adopter wants to know more about the canine in question.

“It’s awesome seeing so many pets from the Humane Society get adopted, but I wish that they all could have been given a home,” senior Ian Beyer, who was volunteering, said.

This is the ninth year in a row the Humane Society has put together Bark in the Park. The events included: weiner dog racing, with orange lines spray painted on the grass (which the dogs rarely follow); hot dog bobbing and costume contests. Various tents were put up from local businesses advertising and passing out goodie bags for pets. Among all of this, several food vendors showed up, most of them put together by Friends of the Humane Society. These included a hot dog stand, a cotton candy stand and a bake sale; these were all run by volunteers.

The purpose of Bark in the Park is to, in essence, keep the Humane Society afloat and taking care of animals.

“All funds that are raised go to paying bills at the shelter and staff,” Baldwin said. “The staff gets no government funding at all.”

Money can come in from different sources, as well.

“The money comes from the adoption fees, year round fundraisers and running donations,” she said. “A while ago a little girl donated all her birthday money to the Humane Society.”

These aren’t the only people helping the Humane Society, though. An organization called Friends of the Humane Society, or FHS, has been assisting them for almost 14 years. A lot of the fundraisers are started by them.

“We fund the Humane Society 100 percent,” director of FHS Betty Burk said.

They are the people in charge of the $25 off coupons to get one’s pet spayed or neutered to prevent any unwanted pets and a heavier burden on the Humane Society. They even have a secondhand shop in Comanche open on 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, where some of the money is raised.

“We’re always needing volunteers,” Burk said.

If interested in volunteering or donating for a good cause, call 580-704-9574 to support FHS.