As 2020 ends and a new year begins, Fayette Regional Humane Society (FRHS) recently took a look back to see how everything went during the year of the pandemic.
According to FRHS Chief Humane Agent and Outreach Director Brad Adams, a total of 1,636 animals were taken in by the non-profit. Of those 1,636 animals:
-1,463 were cats
-160 were dogs
-four were rabbits
-eight were guinea pigs
-one was a chicken
Adoptions were numerous and included families from outside Fayette County — some of which drove from other states for their new furry family members. Not only were direct adoptions from FRHS made but adoptions through FRHS off-site partnerships were made — 723 through Petsmart and 103 through Petco, according to Adams.
FRHS Executive Director Lee Schrader wrote via email, “We were amazed to find that more people wanted to adopt pets in 2020, which kept us very busy!”
Some animals were housed for emergencies rather than adoptions. Adams explained this is part of the S.A.F.E. Program (Sheltering Animals For Emergencies).
“There were occasions where we housed a dog and a few cats due to exigency such as a pet owner unexpectedly hospitalized,” wrote Adams via email. “There were a couple of times where the pet owner refused hospitalization until their pet had a place to go. The SAFE program worked great to help the animal receive care while their owner received care as well. We’ve always helped when resources were available, so it’s not anything new, but we now have a name for it.”
As for Humane Law Enforcement, 426 incidents involving animal cruelty, welfare checks and rescues were responded to.
During 2020, FRHS had a few staff changes. An outgoing humane agent was replaced by a new agent trained by Adams. A receptionist position was filled following the staff member transferring into an assistant adoption coordinator position. A part-time animal care technician position was added and filled.
“They are all doing great,” wrote Adams. “We really have a wonderful team of people who have a big passion for helping animals.”
Schrader reflected on challenges they faced throughout 2020.
“Like most other nonprofits, the COVID-19 pandemic was our major challenge,” explained Schrader. “Our major fundraising gala had to be canceled, and we had to find alternate sources for funding. Our supporters stepped up, and we were able to finish the year with more adoptions and more surgeries performed than any previous year. The pandemic also affected the fundraising for our new building.”
Looking forward, although fundraising for the new FRHS facility was interrupted, the project is still planned to proceed.
“We have outgrown our present facility, which is in an office building, and we look forward to moving to a building that is specially designed for animals. The new building will be an amazing addition to the community,” wrote Schrader.
The building, as previously reported, is planned to be located on three acres of land northwest of Washington Court House off Highway 41 — the City of Washington Court House previously authorized FRHS to lease the land for 99 years.
According to the FRHS website, www.fayetteregionalhumane.org/building-hope/, of the $1,500,000 “Building Hope” campaign goal, $649,000 has been raised so far. The new, 7,000 square-foot facility is planned to allow several more services and space for current services to be provided.
Not only does FRHS serve Fayette County but it has expanded its service area to surrounding counties.
“We believe that our new building will give us the opportunity to help even more animals in southern Ohio,” wrote Schrader. “We hope to break ground on our new building in 2021.”
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.