The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is preparing to launch its holiday campaign to raise lifesaving funds for the shelter and promote animal welfare across the region.
President and CEO of HSNEGA Allison Mayfield said on WDUN’s “Drive at 5” Wednesday that this year’s Season of Saves campaign will include three of the organization’s hallmark holiday programs.
“It kicks off with ‘Giving Tuesday’ where we try to raise about $30,000 in one day,” Mayfield said. “Our board matches that campaign ... And then after that, it rolls into what we call our 'PAW-liday Giving Trees', which is more of items that the shelter needs like blankets, and bleach and food and leashes and things like that. And then we also include in that our 'Home for the Holidays', where we really try to get our animals out of the shelter for the holidays to relieve some stress, and maybe some Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner with the family.”
Mayfield explained that the organization hopes to use the funds and donations from the campaign to combat overpopulation within the shelter.
“We are seeing that intakes of animals are up across the nation and adoptions are down across the nation,” she emphasized. “And it's no different for us at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. And so with these funds, you know, we do several things.”
The Season of Saves campaign will allow the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia to continue to provide services such as taking care of animals with high medical needs or helping pet owners with the costs associated with taking in an animal to avoid having to surrender it to the shelter.
The campaign will kick off on November 28 with the one-day Giving Tuesday fundraiser.
“Our board of directors has committed to match the campaign,” Mayfield said. “...Everything up to $10,000 will be matched. And we tried to raise $30,000 in one day, and we did so last year. So, we're really hoping that the community is going to step up and help us do that again this year.”
The following day on November 29 the shelter will team up with NoFo Brew Co. in Gainesville for “Yappy Hour” from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hosted in partnership with the City of Gainesville, the event is open to all members of the family including leashed pets, who can have their photos taken with Santa in exchange for a monetary donation, bag of dog food, canned cat food or box of treats. Yappy Hour will also include live music, a food truck and prizes. A portion of bar proceeds will be donated to the shelter.
HSNEGA is also asking local businesses to display PAW-liday Giving Trees, which will include ornaments patrons may choose from the tree to support the shelter. Each ornament features an item from the shelter’s wish list and a QR code to make a monetary contribution. HSNEGA is looking for 30 businesses to participate in the PAW-liday Giving Tree program.
The Season of Saves Campaign will also include ‘Home for the Holidays’, a foster program in which all adoptable pets in the shelter can temporarily stay in foster homes over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Mayfield said this part of the campaign often leads to some pets finding their forever homes.
“I'm shocked by the generosity of this community,” she said, “Just getting an animal out of the shelter for a weekend over Thanksgiving, or a week or two over Christmas, you would be shocked at how it reduces the stress on an animal. And honestly, a lot of times 50% of the animals don't even come back.”
Those interested in fostering, who are not already approved, may apply in person or online.
To learn more about the shelter’s mission, view adoptable animals, or apply to be a foster, please visit https://humanesocietyofnortheastgeorgia.org.