Archbold, OH
Sunny
Sunny
35°F
 

New Group All About Puppies, Kittens



Sondra Metts, rural Archbold, one of the leaders of a group working to establish a humane society in Fulton County, wants everyone to know they’re not connected with the Humane Society of the United States.

Agricultural organizations oppose the HSUS because of its standing on treatment of farm animals.

“We’re about kittens and puppies. We’re not going to come to your farm and tell you how to raise your chickens,” she said.

“We are not affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States. We have no political agenda, unless it’s working with law enforcement,” she said.

That’s been one of the problems the Fulton County group has run into. Having the words “humane society” in the name causes people to connect them to the controversial group.

Another thing, Metts says, is the Fulton County Humane Society is not funded by federal, state, or local governments.

Fulton County refers to the group’s jurisdiction, not its funding source, she said.

But for all of the naysayers, for all those who have tried to stop the project, there have been supporters as well.

“Every time I think it’s not going to happen, someone will call me, and say, ‘don’t give up.’”

Started

At one time, there was an operating humane society in Fulton County. But the group folded in the early 2000s, after briefly operating a cat shelter in Wauseon.

Metts said the project got started in August of last year, when she met Candy Spradlin, who had worked with the Williams County Humane Society.

Spradlin’s dream was starting a humane society in Fulton County. That dream became Metts’ dream as well.

“There are 88 counties in Ohio. I ‘Googled’ all of them, and 87 have humane societies. Fulton County is the only county in Ohio that doesn’t,” she said.

“I looked at Williams County and Henry County, which have similar resources who have managed to sustain humane societies.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able.”

Metts put up flyers and began talking to people interested in the project.

At the same time, she made phone calls to other humane societies “to find out what works and what doesn’t.”

What she learned was a large board of directors wasn’t the way to go.

“In Ohio, you need to have three on a board. Ours is four,” she said.

When the group held its first meeting in March, 50 people attended. Today, the group has an auxiliary board of 60 members.

Fulton County doesn’t have a humane society because of apathy, she said.

To help with the project, Metts hired a fund-raiser, who works on a commission basis. That decision, she said, ruffled a few feathers.

Capital Campaign

Right now, the Fulton County Humane Society is raising funds to purchase a site for a dog and cat shelter.

The site they chose is the Spring Hill Kennel, located at the intersection of St. Rt. 108 and Co. Rd. J, near the Fulton County Fairgrounds.

Metts said Spring Hill is not for sale, but the owner has agreed to sell if the humane society can raise the money. Currently, the group has about $26,000 in cash or pledges.

She said the Williams County Humane Society was able to raise $300,000 for its shelter in nine months.

“We got a late start,” she said. “We’re starting to look at next summer.”

Until it gets a shelter, a capital funding campaign is all the organization is working on, she said.

Shelter

The group has big dreams for the shelter.

Metts said they want to remodel and add to the building to include two isolation rooms, a room for veterinary examinations, a room for cats, and an adoption room, where families can meet the pets they wish to adopt.

They would also like to change the layout of the building to allow dogs to interact with one another, to “allow dogs to be dogs,” she said.

“If you put a dog in a cage and warehouse them for 10 days, they’re going to come out with behavioral and psychological problems. They’ll be worse than when they went in.”

She would like the facility to be more “public-friendly.” They don’t want people to see a doggie prison.

In the future, the group would like to develop a dog park on the property, where dogs can run and play off their leashes.

Metts comes back to a point she had made before.

“Every other county is doing this. Why not Fulton County?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *