Sidney Rotary hosts SCARF

Photo provided Sidney Rotary Club President Lisa Benanzer, SCARF Board Member and Rotarian John Scheu, and SCARF Vice-President, Julie Ehemann, discuss the campaign to raise the necessary funds to construct a new, state-of-the-art Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center following Monday’s Rotary Club Meeting.

Photo provided
Sidney Rotary Club President Lisa Benanzer, SCARF Board Member and Rotarian John Scheu, and SCARF Vice-President, Julie Ehemann, discuss the campaign to raise the necessary funds to construct a new, state-of-the-art Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center following Monday’s Rotary Club Meeting.

Representatives of  the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation (SCARF) spoke to members of the Rotary Club of Sidney, Ohio at their weekly meeting Monday, February 8.  The meeting was held at the Moose Lodge.

SCARF Board Member Cheri Dalton told the Rotarians that the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation was formed in 2012 by a group of concerned pet lovers.  “We are a 501 (c)(3) organization,” Dalton stated.  “Our mission is to raise the funds to support the Shelby County Animal Shelter operate safely, education and community outreach concerning abused and neglected animals, medical procedures, eliminating euthanasia of adoptable animals, and maintaining best practices.”

SCARF is currently raising money to build a new state of the art Animal Shelter and Adoption Center.  “The new center will cost $2.4M, and will be a climate controlled environment.  The current shelter is cold in the winter and hot in the summer,” Dalton stated.  “The new facility will provide a much more comfortable facility for both dogs and cats until they can find a new, forever home.”

Dalton pointed out that through the efforts of SCARF, very few dogs are euthanized.  “Last year, it was fewer than fifteen, and those were dogs that could not be adopted because they were either too badly injured to be saved by a veterinarian or animals that could not be socialized.”

Dalton reviewed the many ways that SCARF has reached out to the community to raise funds for their efforts.  She mentioned “Cans for Canines”, a program in which aluminum cans are collected and sold for scrap, a program that has yielded $17,884.00 since 2012.  Dalton also mentioned GoodSearch.com and GoodShop.com, as well as the Kroger and amazonsmile programs as sources that provide funds, at no cost to shoppers, for the shelter.

“Since WMVR’s Joe Laber began the ‘Pet of the Week’ program, we have learned the value of utilizing various media.  Our website has enabled us to even have adoptions from other states – as far away as Washington,” Dalton told the Rotarians.  “We had someone fly in from Michigan and adopt a pet with whom they connected online.”

Dalton pointed out that the shelter now has a three-day, cooling off period.  “We want the adoptions to last forever,” Dalton stated.  “We don’t want people adopting a pet at Christmas, realizing it is more work than they anticipated, and bringing it back when the holidays have been forgotten.”

Julie Ehemann, SCARF Board Vice-President, advised Rotarians that the current campaign had reached about 42% of the goal.  “Once we have raised the necessary funds, the money will be turned over to the County Commissioners and they will let the bids for constructing the new facility.  SCARF has no desire to operate a shelter,” she explained.

“Since we started our work in 2012, we have saved the taxpayers $109,546.00!” Ehemann stated.  “We have greatly reduced the number of animals that have to be euthanized, and that is fortunate.”

Ehemann pointed out that in addition to the ongoing fund-raising efforts, SCARF has been working with others to promote adoption events.  In addition, they are planning a program that would trap feral cats, spay or neuter and vaccinate them, and return them to the community.

Ehemann answered a number of questions posed by Rotarians.  When the program concluded, she encouraged those who want to assist SCARF to check the SCARF website (helpshelbycountyanimals.com) for upcoming opportunities.

The Rotary Club of Sidney meets every Monday at Noon at the Moose Lodge, 1200 North Broadway Avenue, Sidney.  Potential Rotarians who would like more information about the world’s oldest service organization are encouraged to contact any current member.