In past weeks, I've shared some information about various "animal groups" in Leavenworth County. But there are more! Breed rescues, LAWS, 4-H-ers who work with animals, organizations for trainers, breeders, day care/kennel/boarding operators, pet sitters and others. I'm happy to post information any of them would like to share about their organizations. All they have to do is email their organizational information to LvnCoHS@live.com or one of the other administrators, or contact the Leavenworth Times. Or readers can just do their own research on the internet or on facebook. Have a look and see what different groups are out there and what they're saying.
One of the most common questions we get when LCHS, Inc. is out in the public, participating in Chamber events, visiting community groups, participating in various festivals, doing our spay/neuter transports or holding adoption events is "WHY are there so many animal groups?"
I always respond by asking why there's Kiwanis, Optimists, Knights of Columbus, Eagles, Moose, Lions, Rotary, etc, etc, etc. They are all community service groups, each with a little different flavor, a little different focus, and a little different way of operating. People who want to serve their community choose to affiliate with and support the group that works for them.
People who want to support an "animal group" or several have choices. They can look around, try on different groups, and work with the one (or more) that fits their lifestyle, that matches their goals. We all want a group we can feel a part of, welcome in, and valued for our contributions.
Donors have choices. Those who donate to support animal causes can donate their money to national organizations who advocate for better animal protection laws and enforcement, who provide training and information resources to local groups, who sometimes provide grant opportunities to fund local efforts, and who have emergency response capability that most local groups cannot mobilize. National groups are great partners to local organizations, but local organizations are independent. Our programs and operating expenses are NOT funded by donations to HSUS or ASPCA, nor do those national organizations set our agendas or policies. Local organizations rely on local donors and local fund-raising efforts, and local people determine what the organization does and does not do.
And to the criticism that the simple existence of Leavenworth County Humane Society causes confusion, we say that some people will always be confused, just as they might be confused by the existence of Optimists, Lions, Kiwanis, etc. Or the difference between a Historical Society and a Humane Society. Really?
We often talk with people who think they've donated to or adopted from LCHS, Inc., but they've actually donated to or adopted from someone else. We do try to help people learn about the distinctions between groups, but when people are telling us about something good they did to help animals, IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER. They did something to help. That's worth celebrating. There are many "animal groups" in our County, and LCHS, Inc. celebrates all their contributions. Whatever helps pets and the people who love them is a plus in our book.
LCHS, Inc.is the only organization committed to building and operating the Community Animal Care Center that will serve all of Leavenworth County, where nearly 38% of citizens, voters, taxpayers are either unserved, or underserved by existing animal care and control agencies. Learn more at www.LCHSInc.org or email LvnCoHS@live.com.
Crystal Swann Blackdeer, President, Leavenworth County Humane Society, Inc.