By Cheryl Murphy
“Many hands make the light work” is an old saying that still rings so true! With the many daily tasks required by Humane Society of the Ouachitas’ animal shelter staff to care for the typical sixty shelter pet residents at any one time, the “peripheral” duties of operating the business end of the organization are handled by HSO’s dedicated volunteers! The “short list” of those duties include shelter maintenance, fostering pets, fundraising, grant-writing, bookkeeping, bill-paying, and HSO’s public representation online and offline. Can you imagine running a small business by an “all-volunteer” staff? Thanks to those many hands, HSO has realized some amazing benefits which serve the local community. A grant request to the Rachel Ray Foundation resulted in a gift to purchase a van for HSO’s Transport Program, which can transport shelter pets to other destinations to increase their chances of adoption! Transport opens up more kennel space at the shelter to intake more homeless animals. A grant request to PetSmart Charities resulted in funding to offer spay-neuter services to income qualifying pet owners for yet another year! Spay-neuter helps to decrease the number of unwanted animals in the county, of which so many end up homeless. HSO’s Shelter Manager Kelly Otts created HSO’s new logo design and Jesse Garcia of Sanctified Design Studio in Mena commercially produced the design for new staff and volunteer tee shirts as well as identifying features for the new van! When volunteers wear their shirts at public events and when the new van rolls through town, the public will notice and remember that HSO is serving its community. HSO celebrates 40 years of service in Polk County and celebrates the ongoing dedication of local supporters, whose financial gifts pay the daily bills and keep the shelter running day by day. From its humble beginnings of dedicated volunteers and financial supporters, the community has realized tremendous benefits of having a professional-level well-operated animal shelter serving the county. For inquiries with spay-neuter services, lost-found pets, fostering or volunteering for HSO, please call 479-394-5682 or visit hsomena.org or its page at www.facebook.com/hsomena
Pictured, from left, are HSO’s dedicated shelter pet-care team, Kennel Tech Justin Otts, Shelter Manager Kelly Otts, Animal Care Manager Jennifer McMellon and Kennel Tech Juanita Howard, standing with HSO’s newly outfitted transport van.