Four years ago this month, the Tama County Humane Society (TCHS) opened its doors and immediately became the home to a litter of nine puppies that needed to be housed in dog crates because there were no kennels. Since then, the TCHS has been providing shelter and adoption services for homeless dogs, cats, and other small animals. This year, the Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF) awarded TCHS a $1,500 grant to purchase outdoor dog kennels.
This year's grant was a necessity for the shelter, as dogs need outdoor recreation time and a place where volunteers can play, socialize, and ready the dogs for adoption. This grant is not the first received from the TCCF. Three years ago, the TCCF awarded a $7,000 grant for a heating and cooling system, an important component needed before any major phase of the building project could advance. The following year, a $2,500 grant allowed for the purchase of signage in front of the shelter.
"We have really been pleased with the support that we've received from the Tama County Community Foundation since opening the shelter in 2009," said Dr. Christie Downs, DVM, a local veterinarian and primary grant writer for the TCHS. Dr. Downs and senior veterinarian, Dr. Rick Cooper, as well as the entire Town and Country Vet Clinic, have been vital in taking care of the animals' health issues and making sure these animals are ready for adoption to their "forever homes".
Humane Society Shelter volunteer Linda Wilson (left) and Mary Fasse-Shaw, Tama County Community Foundation Development Associate hold a pair of puppies recently at the Tama County shelter.
Chronicle photos/John Speer
The Tama County Humane Society has been fundraising for a shelter for years and initially planned to buy land and build. However, plans changed when the current shelter site became available, a former pizzeria and second-hand store. Since it was purchased, the shelter has been a work in progress?carpets have been ripped out, sheet rock replaced, and indoor cages and kennels have been built. Future plans are to finish the dog adoption areas inside. After that, staff will tackle the cat adoption room with plans to make it more open, allowing the cats more freedom during the day. Glass cages, instead of metal cages, will line the outside of the room.
For more information about the TCCF, contact Brian Sokol, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation, 641-484-2980, or Mary Fasse-Shaw, TCCF's Development Associate at 641-751-5251.
The Tama County Community Foundation was created by and for the people of Tama County. An affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, it's main goals are to support charitable projects and programs, attract additional funds, and assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within the county.