To the Readers' Forum:
I'd like to applaud the Jamestown Community College's Kids' College for their outstanding work in developing the "Pennies for Pets" program that help raised over $400 for the Chautauqua County Humane Society. Not only does this type of course help teach kids how to care for animals, it also highlights the importance of giving locally. ("'Pennies For Pets' Raises Funds For Humane Society," August 23, 2012)
As the former director of education for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and with 20+ years in the sheltering community, I know a common misconception is that national animal groups are umbrella groups for pet shelters and spend most of their resources on helping care for these animals. After all, that's what the commercials full of needy dogs and cats imply. However, HSUS isn't affiliated with pet shelters and sends just 1 percent of the money it raises to pet shelters, according to its tax return.
Local shelters don't just need money - they could also use supplies like dog or cat food and towels. Whatever animal lovers can give, they should make sure their donations are staying local if they want to help care for pets.
Humane Society for Shelter Pets