The Clay County Humane Society accepts about 2,700 animals per year and volunteer Rosemary Campbell takes it upon herself to find homes for as many of the animals as she can.
Campbell began volunteering at the shelter when she retired 14 years ago because she is an animal lover. She takes pictures for the Web site, answers all mail, transports dogs to bigger shelters in other states where they are more likely to be placed in a home and finds foster parents for animals when the shelter is overflowing. Since Jan.1 she has transported 91 dogs to other shelters.
Campbell's efforts to help abandoned Clay County animals was noticed by The Racine Journal Times in Wisconsin An article written by Rob Goluh states that Racine's Hope Safehouse accepted a record-breaking 29 of the Clay County Humane Shelter's dogs and puppies at one time due to a Web posting from Campbell pleading for a spot to take the assorted dogs because there was no room for all of them at the shelter.
The shelter will soon receive assistance from the PetSmart transportation program which is similar to what Campbell is already doing. It will supply transporters, provide funding for vet bills and locate shelters that are in need of pets due to strict spay/neuter laws that cause a shortage of animals. Clay County will only be responsible for health checks and preparing the animals for transport.
The shelter is always looking for volunteers and there is plenty for them to do. Volunteers are needed for socializing with the dogs, walking, matchmaking pets with possible owners, grooming and kennel cleaning. Anyone who can't bear the thought of setting foot inside the shelter can still volunteer by providing foster care for animals when the shelter is overflowing, sponsor a spay or neuter because all animals have to be spayed or neutered before they leave the shelter, participate in fundraisers like the annual golf scramble in the summer or work in the concession stand at Forest Park.
"We're always looking for volunteers. There's always walking, socializing, baths to be given," Campbell states.
The shelter also accepts donations of food, blankets, rugs, litter, toys for cats and dogs, pop cans, newspapers and money.
She says of the current volunteers, "They're all great. Just need more of them."
Three volunteers are Doris Ellison, Judy Stovall and Scott Ripple. Ellison answers phones on Mondays, the most hectic day of the week for the shelter because of people dropping off animals over the weekends. Ripple started as a dog walker and now serves as treasurer on the board of directors and Stovall helps in the concession stand and takes animals to area nursing homes. The trio sings praises of Campbell as well.
"Rosemary never says die. She overcomes all her problems and she is so willing to help animals," Stovall says.
Ellison agrees with Stovall that Campbell is very dedicated to finding animals homes.
"She has a strong commitment to the welfare of animals as well as her community. Rosemary is one of the most civic-minded people I know," Ripple states.
Anyone interested in being a member of the Clay County Humane Society may do so by attending the meetings held on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Farm Bureau Insurance office on Jackson St. For further info contact the shelter at 446-5126 or online at ClayHumane@aol.com.