Written by: MEHS Staff and Stephanie Huskey
It is that time of year when we reflect over what we have accomplished. You might track numbers. You might scroll back through your photos. You might even take a moment to talk to your friends and family about the good times you had.
At Metro East Humane Society, we haven’t calculated official end-of-year numbers yet, but we felt like something great happened this year. We began writing down some of our most heartwarming and memorable moments. Quickly we realized that something special did happen this year. We broke several records, started new programs, and saw some of our long-time residents find their forever homes.
We want to share our top ten most memorable moments of 2018.
This year we were happy to make a few improvements to the MEHS facility. Among the small projects were two major ones: a new coat of paint and the addition of a catio to Kitty City! The catio allows the Kitty City residents to enjoy the outdoors without escaping. The staff says that the catio has improved the cat-itudes in Kitty City!
On Black Friday Weekend MEHS had an adoption special that featured reduced adoption fees on some animals. That weekend, 35 animals found new homes and the kennels felt empty! It was a hectic day for staff and adopters, but it was worth it to see that many animals find homes that weekend!
In April, MEHS took in 110 new animals. Since this broke our previous records, we thought it was pretty amazing. Then, the next months kept breaking the past years’ records for animals we could intake! Our record-breaking months was due in large part to our Foster Homes who allowed us to care for more kittens and puppies without requiring more kennel space. During July, we adopted 131 animals! In August 90 animals were adopted; in September 124 found new homes! The adoptions keep happening! When you see the final 2018 numbers, you will be amazed.
When Billie came to MEHS as a kitten she had cysts on her eyelids that required surgery to remove. MEHS is extremely grateful for the Emergency Medical Assistance grant from Petfinder Foundation to offset the costs of eye surgery that was successful. While she had some permanent damage to her right eye, she never let that slow her down one bit! Billie was your typical, mischievous fun-loving 1-year-old. 456 days later and our office kitty, Billie Jean, found her forever home! Many happy tears and goodbye scratches were had.
In August, Patches reached his one-year-at-MEHS milestone. We think MEHS is fantastic, but not great enough to spend a year with us. Patches had been the MEHS Pet of the Day, he was featured on Fox2Now’s Pet of the Week Segment, he started going on car rides and vlogging about it, he looked cute with his ball. Patches became a little sad, so he went to a foster home for a few weeks just to get away from it all. Finally, Patches was adopted! Patches’ story is a staff favorite that shows just how important a variety of the MEHS programs are for the animals!
To say Metro East Humane Society’s TNR program was successful in 2018 is an understatement. We went into this year with a goal of TNRing 250 cats and we surpassed that fairly easily. We spayed/neutered, ear tipped, vaccinated, and microchipped cats in the Metro East area. We cannot wait to see what we accomplish in 2019.
Earlier in the year, we applied to Maddie’s Fund for a Grant for the Foster Animal Memory Care Collaboration program. With this grant, we would potentially be able to put animals into foster homes with memory care and retirement facilities in the area. To kick off the program, our Foster Coordinator, Katy, worked to create a schedule of 6 facilities in the Edwardsville and Highland area. She began taking a few adoptable dogs and slowly incorporated cats into her visits. The residents responded well, and the animals all had a good time! We are hoping to continue this program into 2019 but with more volunteer involvement.
If you read memorable moment #8 closely, you probably saw this one coming. With so many months breaking previous records, we broke another overall record. Throughout the 2018 year, MEHS staff have focused on animal enrichment, animal ownership education, and adopter retention programs. With diligent effort put forth, we have helped place over 1000 amazing animals into their fur-ever homes! With increased adoption numbers comes increased animal intakes! This allows us to save many additional animals and place them with new loving families.
The Madison County Animal Welfare Advocates for Animals Coalition was created to help the county achieve NO KILL status by 2021. The group consists of MEHS, P4P, SNIP Alliance and Madison County Animal Care & Control. Although still very much in its infancy, the coalition is in the process of helping animal control start a volunteer program, more effectively network animals and improve the lives of feral cats in Madison County. Being a part of this coalition means a great deal to everyone at MEHS. While adoptions tend to take priority, our ultimate mission at MEHS is to enrich human and animal lives throughout our community. We are excited to be a part of this group and see how much progress we can make in 2019.
Samson had waited 886 days to find his forever family. Samson was adopted from MEHS when he was just a little puppy. Then he was dumped at an animal control facility several years later. The first year of being back with MEHS was spent getting his skin allergies under control. Many, many antibiotics later and a switch in food, Samson was living a comfortable life but still at MEHS.
Like Patches, Samson had been featured as MEHS pet of the day, went on car rides, hung out with Lucy (the MEHS mascot) and the MEHS staff. Finally, a few weeks ago, Samson was featured again as Pet of the Day. This time, he found a home and owners who were willing to allow him time to trust. Based on our reports from his new owners, Samson fits in quite well with his new pack.
Of our list of memorable moments, Samson getting adopted was the clear #1 moment. Maybe it is because his adoption happened so recently. Maybe it is because it shows that all the work done by MEHS staff, board, and volunteers matters. The work isn’t always easy. It isn’t always happy. However, the staff and volunteers at MEHS make it happen. They do it because they care about each animal. They push through the tough days because the memorable moments like these make the work rewarding.
This year, we wanted to share them with you.
As we end 2018, MEHS staff, board, and alumni would like to thank you for all you do to support us. Every dollar given, supply donated, home opened to foster pets, hour volunteered, event attended, and adoption made helps us continue our mission of enriching lives by uniting cats and dogs with loving homes while promoting the humane and respectful treatment of animals.
While we at MEHS are feeling the good vibes from reflecting on these memorable moments, we want you to remind you, our supporters, that YOU did all of this.
We see you and we thank you.