The Humane Society of Rome (HSR) is located at 6247 Lamphear Road in Rome, in the original building erected at the shelter’s founding in 1956. Since the mid-twentieth century, the needs of the community have changed greatly and HSR is ready to grow to meet these needs.
The staff of 11 cares for a range of 150-300 cats and 10-30 dogs at a time. The human population of the City of Rome is about 33,600, and in 2009, HSR cared for 1,774 cats and kittens and 721 dogs and puppies. Bear in mind that the average cost of each animal is $9 per day. This translates into almost $16,000 spent on cats alone — never mind sick or injured cats, or kittens that need to be bottle fed with formula. Each feline and canine leaving HSR is spayed or neutered, treated for parasites and up to date on their rabies and distemper vaccines. At an adoption fee of $90 for cats and $100 for kittens, it is quite a bargain when compared to the cost of these services at a veterinary hospital. And, in an effort to get senior cats (ages 7 and over) and cats that have been in residence for 6 months or more adopted, the fee is reduced to $65.
Shelter pets at HSR do not simply hang out waiting for their forever homes — they have very active social lives. They regularly take field trips for humane education programs for both adults and children and have outings as pet therapists for people living in skilled nursing facilities and for people with developmental disabilities. It is a great way to share the virtues of shelter pets.
HSR owns land on South Charles Street in Rome, and is in the process of raising funds to build a new shelter. The plans for Humane Society of Rome’s new building include community cat rooms, outdoor trails for walking dogs and a conference room for education programs. There will be separate wings for dogs and cats, which will significantly reduce stress on cats. The design also incorporates separate areas for stray and adoptable animals, which will reduce the possibility of unhealthy strays transmitting diseases to healthy adoptable cats, which any shelter employee will attest can be devastating.
The plan for the new facility not only takes into account current needs, but also future goals. Among those goals is a surgical suite that veterinarians can use not only for shelter residents, but also for low-cost spay/neuter surgery for the general public.
Of course, new buildings do not pay for themselves and HSR is beginning a campaign to raise funds for their new facility. In fact, on this Saturday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m., HSR will hold their “Fur Ball” at the Delta Lake Inn in Rome, featuring food, cocktails, dancing and a silent auction. For only $30 in advance or $35 at the door, attendees can have an absolute blast and help local animals at the same time.
For some “inside info” about HSR, fan them on Facebook, where you can get the latest news as well as “Winston’s Column,” in which shelter pets write to a delightful dog who gives them support and lets readers know about ways they can help the animals of HSR.
As with most shelters and rescues, HSR can always use more volunteers and foster “parents.”
As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, Humane Society of Rome relies on donations from the pubic to carry out its work. If one cannot give money, volunteering to help animals get adopted also helps. Call the shelter at (315) 336-7070 to find out how you can help, or stop by — you might meet your new best friend.