Humane Society accepting members

Published 1:22 pm Friday, February 17, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Chilton County Humane Society is re-initiating its membership program to raise support, in the form of both money and time, for the shelter.

A membership program has always been a part of the bylaws for the organization, but a membership drive has not been held in some time, according to Humane Society first vice president Kristi Hyche.

Memberships are $25 per person or $40 per couple on an annual basis. Hyche said membership fees will go into the Humane Society’s general fund.

“We have a lot of volunteers, but we don’t have a lot of members right now,” Hyche said.

Members must be 18 years old or older, a legal resident of the United States and a resident of Alabama. They must also be willing to attend meetings, volunteer at events and serve on a subcommittee. Hyche said members are also strongly encouraged to volunteer at the shelter whenever possible.

Membership applications are available at the shelter. Hyche said applications would be approved at the board meetings each month.

Members will also have voting rights at the annual membership meeting to elect the officers for the year.

“All the volunteers and the members will be assigned to a standing committee,” Hyche said.

This could include committees for planning and fundraising.

Hyche said serving as a foster home for an animal would not be a membership requirement, but would be encouraged.

“We also desperately need people to foster our animals. It is usually a two-week commitment for fosters,” Hyche said.

Animals that are going to a rescue group are often kept by a foster volunteer to make more room at the shelter and reduce exposure to any disease incoming animals may have.

“Every animal we foster we know is going to a rescue, so they wouldn’t be stuck with them,” Hyche said.

A membership may be terminated by the board if a person is found to have mistreated an animal in its care or “putting other volunteers in harm’s way,” Hyche said.

Hyche also hopes that the members will become a part of raising awareness for the shelter, and “encourage friends and family to help support us.”

“We have wonderful supporters in the community. We just need more,” Hyche said.

The Humane Society has also made recent changes to ensure better record keeping and help save money. The board recently visited the shelter to organize existing files and implement a locked filing cabinet for personnel, volunteer and membership information.

The purchase of a new time clock, which uses a monthly subscription service to store information electronically, will save time in calculating payroll by streamline the process. The new timeclock cost $111 with the subscription service costing $18 a month. Hyche said that previously this process was kept track of on paper and took hours to calculate. Now, they will be able to email payroll information from the program to the accountant rather than faxing it.

The shelter has also found a cost savings on its phone system and added additional phone lines in order to save money. Hyche said the additional phone lines will mean more people can get through to the shelter, and help them get more animals adopted.