Good Shepherd Humane Society

Good Shepherd Humane Society


– Thanks for joining
Eureka Springs Channel. I have the distinct pleasure
to join you guys today to talk about Good Shepherd Humane Society here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. And I’m here with my special
guest, Mr. Jay Fusaro. – Yes.
– Only Italian, you said? – That’s right.
(laughing) – Not exactly.
– No, not exactly, yeah. – So you are the, tell us a little bit about your position here at Good Shepherd Humane Society. – Sure, so thank you
for having me, Melanie. Thank you for doing this. I joined the Board in May of ’16, and because of some health reasons with some other Board members, I became president in September of ’16. And really enjoyed it. We got a dog here a couple
of years prior to that, and so that helped introduce
me to Good Shepherd. – That’s a great introduction too! – Yeah, it was, it was! – Adoption. – Yep, attended a few Board meetings, and got involved in the
hopes of making a difference, and it’s been really good. We’ve made a lot of
really nice improvements. It was a good organization before, and we believe it’s even better now. And we just got our second dog in January here at the shelter, and we’re training him
to be a therapy dog. – Isn’t it great? – Yeah, it’s terrific
– That’s awesome! – So he’s gone through three
of four levels of training, and we’re very happy about that. – That’s great, that’s great. Well you guys have, you know your facility has changed and evolved over the years, and it’s continuing to evolve. One of the things that I’m most interested in getting a message out
there today for you guys is that you are a no-kill shelter. And in the financial part
of being able to do that, could you speak a little bit
about that, what that takes. – Sure. So we’re the only no-kill
shelter in Carroll County, and it takes quite a bit
of resources to do that. So any animal that comes here is going to stay with us
until they’re adopted. Every animal that comes in gets
a wellness check by our vet, who’s here three days a week. Gets spayed or neutered,
gets all their shots, gets flea and tick treatment, and they will get that
throughout their stay with us. So the average stay of an
animal at Good Shepherd, is about 10 weeks, cat or dog. Some are here shorter,
some are here longer, but on average its about 10 weeks. So we’re very proud of that. – That’s not very long!
– No, it’s not. – That’s good, that’s great!
– That’s what a lot of people say, that they’re sad
to come to the shelter, because they wanna take
all the animals home, and I certainly understand that. And I felt that way when I first started coming to the shelter, but when you see how much
the staff cares for them, how well taken care of they are, and that they’re only here about 10 weeks, that kind of eases that burden of that you want to take
everybody home with you. The average cost per
animal per stay with us, for the treatment that I
described, is about $400. It costs about $280,000 a
year to run the shelter. That’s staff, vet care, food, medication, utilities and the whole nine yards. So it costs quite a bit of money. We don’t receive any state,
local, or federal funding so we’re all self-funded
and about half our money comes from our two thrift stores. So please shop at our two thrift stores. – (laughing) Exactly! – One in Eureka, one in Berryville. And the rest is through donations, so it does take quite a bit
to keep the shelter rolling. – Yeah, that’s a real financial commitment from you guys as a board, and for everybody here
that’s a part of it. And I know that the community
has been heavily involved with the success of this shelter. And you’ve got your thrift stores. I know you’ve got that going on. And you have two stores,
right, two stores? Two locations.
– So we have two thrift stores and a lot
of people may not realize that only one paid staff
member manages both stores, our store manager, Janet Shoop. It takes about 80 volunteers
to run both stores full time. So a great way for people to
help support Good Shepherd, not only financial
contribution and they can shop at the stores, but to volunteer. So if people could volunteer
even four hours a week, do one shift at the stores,
that would be terrific. That could be sorting goods that come in, it could be pricing goods, it could be working the sales floor, the cash register, whatever,
would be a big help. People can help. We have right now one
main fundraiser, our Gala, which is in November. We have it at the Crescent now. We’re always looking for volunteers to help us with the Gala. It takes a lot to set that up as well. – Well you know the environment
here that you are providing for all these animals, it’s phenomenal! I’m sure you’re not
finished with that effort. You’re always improving,
but could you speak a little bit about the environment that is here for the animals? – Sure. We believe you can take a couple different
paths running a shelter. One path could be no
animal gets turned away, we’re gonna take in every animal regardless of what your staffing or capacity is here at the shelter. That’s one way to do it. Some people believe that’s
a compassionate approach. But what that could lead
to is an environment that’s not very appealing to the animals. So the course that we decided to take over the last couple of years, and one that we can absolutely hold the shelter manager responsible for, is to provide a safe,
clean, sanitary environment for the animals that within our care. So every animal that’s here we know is going to be treated properly, get proper treatment, and it’s gonna have the proper
amount of space for them, whether it’s in a kennel, or whatever. It’s going to be the
right number of animals that the staff can properly take care of. So when you think of the time and effort, right now we have about
80 animals roughly. Roughly. Might be about 75. But when you think of the time and effort that it takes to properly
care for, feed, clean, walk the dogs, clean all the litter boxes, all the cages get sprayed out. The indoor cages get sprayed out when the dogs are moved outside, then the outdoor cages get sprayed out when the dogs are moved back inside. It takes quite a bit of manpower. So we leave it up to the shelter staff, with oversight from the Board, to decide what’s the right
number of animals to have that they can properly take care of. And providing that safe,
clean, sanitary environment is something that we can hold the staff directly accountable for. We believe we’ve come a long way in what the environment
of Good Shepherd is now. We’ve made a lot of improvements
to our front kennels, which through the time and effort of some really good volunteers, we’re able to provide covered lean-tos. – [Melanie] I saw that! It looks amazing! – [Jay] It really looks terrific. – [Melanie] Really great! Really great! – [Jay] A lot of, not only was money donated, but materials and time to put them up. It’s really terrific because the animals can be out in rain and sun. They get shade. They put in ceiling fans. So it’s really a pretty
terrific environment for the animals. So we’re very proud of that. – [Melanie] And I also saw the
cat building out there too. That’s really neat. That’s really neat. I like that. – It’s really, I learned
maybe a little bit more than I wanted to about
how to run a shelter. (laughing) I thought just coming in here, being a volunteer and helping out on the Board, but you really have to learn quite a bit. You learn about the process of taking care of the animals, so we have two free-roaming cat houses. One for adults, one for juveniles. And then we have an
intake room for animals, where every animal that comes
in is in quarantine for a week before they’re exposed to
the general population. – Smart, real smart. – It is ’cause it keeps
disease issues down. The complication to that is, when we get an influx of animals and our quarantine is full, then we can’t take in any more animals. People just need to understand– – What the reasons–
– Yeah, the logistics of that. – Beyond that. I gotcha. – Then there’s a separate area for cats that don’t get along with other cats. They need to be kept
in an individual area. And kittens and things like that. So there’s some segregation
that needs to go on, and all that leads to space constraints. Just like with the dogs, it depends what size animals we get in, that determine how many animals we have. – That makes sense. – We’ll have fewer animals
if they’re all 80 pounds, more animals if they’re all 10 pounds. – Right.
– Right? So all kinds of good stuff that we learn. – Well, I can see that
there’s a science to this, for sure on how to do this. You guys have done a really great job and I’m impressed by the organization, the logistics of all this. – It’s really pretty, it’s pretty enlightening. Any board member that
wants to come on the Board, we require that they
go through orientation with our shelter manager, Sandra, who’s really terrific. She’s been here several years, and has worked her way up from cat tech, to assistant manager, to manager. – I’m looking forward to, I’m gonna be talking with her also during the process of this, so she’ll be taking us around. I want to talk a little bit about, you know, you’re talking about logistics and you’ve got
compartmentalized everything going on here for your flow, your workflow of how to
deal with the shelter. I know that you have got improvement plans that you’d like to put in place. So let’s speak a little bit about that. Because I know you guys have just started a capital campaign. Let’s talk about that a
little bit if you don’t mind. – Sure. There’s three big things
that we want to get done in the next 18 to 24 months. The first is new HVAC for the shelter. The HVAC in the shelter is
outdated and inadequate. We’re really fortunate to be
working with a good partner. Island Airco is gonna work
with us on revamping that and getting that new shelter HVAC done. That’s gonna be about $20,000. We have about a little
less than half that raised, and we believe Island Airco
is going to chip in some. So we’re probably only
about, I’m guessing, about $5,000 short on that. So we’re real close on that. We’re confident that we’re
gonna get that done soon. – So it’s the heat of the summer. This is pretty immediate
need then for you guys. – Yes, it is a big need.
– Big need right now. So that’s a good thing for you guys to donate directly to for that. – Absolutely. And this way we can drag
that one across the goal line and be done with that. Then once we get the HVAC done, once you do the walk around with Sandra, what you’ll see is the indoor
kennels are really outdated. It’s chain link fencing. Not only does it not look good, but it’s not real
sanitary for the animals. – It’s not practical then. – It’s not practical
because they can touch noses and potentially transmit disease. Or they can cut their paw on
a piece of chain link fence. So we’re working with a company. Now we’re finalizing cost estimates on that to revamp the indoor kennels. We went down to see the
shelter in Fayetteville, who has this product. It looks terrific and we’re
really anxious about that. That’s gonna cost probably between 50 and $75,000
once we’re all done. That is stainless steel, plexiglass, much more sanitary, a
lot safer, a lot cleaner, a lot better looking. So that’ll be a huge improvement to the inside of the shelter. And then the third and final improvement that we need to make, is our kennels that are out back. So, in back of the shelter it’s
kind of rough rocky terrain. – (laughs) It’s the Ozarks! – It is the Ozarks, and it looks that way back there with the chain link fencing. So we want the back of the
shelter where our kennels are to look as nice as the front
of the shelter does now. We’re going to work with an architect. An architect designed what the front of the
shelter looks like now. So we’re gonna work with
that same architect. Once we get the HVAC done
and the indoor kennels done, we’re going to work with that architect to improve the back of the shelter. That’ll be our third and
final capital improvement. – Well those are three very practical capital improvements
that you need to make. – It’ll completely change
the way the shelter looks, and what condition is
provided for for the animals. – And here’s a product
we’re sitting in right here. This facility that you
have completed here now. We are actually in the boardroom of Good Shepherd Humane Society. I feel like I’m brushing with greatness! – [Jay] You can join the board! – [Melanie] Brushing with greatness here because you guys have done
so much as group together. Fantastic group of people
that you have on your board. – It takes a lot of teamwork
from our board members, and our staff, and our
volunteers to get it done, because it’s an enormous amount of work. So you mentioned where
we are now, Melanie. We received a grant. Our prior president, Troy Johnson, went to the Northwest Arkansas
Economic Development District and we received a grant to
finish out this building. This was a building that was just studs, and as a result of the grant
as well as volunteer work of one board member in particular, we were able to complete this. – It’s very nice – It is very nice.
– Very nice! – We were able to complete
it about 25% under budget, and we asked if we could
repurpose those funds, hold them aside and repurpose the savings for other shelter improvements. – Smart! – And so that’s some of the money that we’re gonna use for the HVAC. That’s what we used for
seed money for the HVAC. What people can do for the indoor kennels, is we’re going to have people
be able to sponsor a kennel. So we’re gonna have plaques made if somebody wants to sponsor a kennel. We’re gonna have plaques
made for that person, for that family, on that kennel, and then we’re gonna provide, most likely quarterly
updates to that donor about what’s going on in that kennel. Who was in it. When they got adopted.
– That’s so cool! – Yeah! So they form a connection with the dog that was in that kennel. It’s a really good way to raise money and for people to be
connected to the shelter. – Oh totally, yeah, totally! That would actually be very fun for a family to have that
as a project as a family to have a kennel.
– Families, groups of friends can get together and do it
– How fun! – You know, you can put your name and your dog’s name,
or whatever, on there. – That is so cool! I like that! – Make it a lot of fun
so we want to do that. – And I was looking right here, when we came through the door here, you got a little, you
called it a meet-and-greet. Is that what you called it? – Right, so the first
part of this building is where people can come that want to adopt a dog or a cat and meet it in a safe environment away from other animals. So dogs aren’t barking and
all that type of stuff. And you can make sure that you have that connection with your animal. Or, if you have another animal, a cat or a dog, and you’re thinking about bringing another
animal into the house, you can do the introduction there. And it’s important, part of the reason that we
wanted this to be the board room, was before Good Shepherd was
meeting at local restaurants, which was very nice of the restaurants to let use their space, but really the Board needs
to meet at the shelter so they can see what’s
going on at the shelter. If there are issues, they
can go see it right away, and they can feel better
connected to the shelter. So it takes team of volunteers
and a team of staff members to make the whole thing work. – There’s a lot of
opportunities for folks. Maybe if you’re retired
or you have youngster or a teenager that needs
something to do for the summer, or for all of us folks out
there who are watching this, I want you to make sure
that you go and check out all the details about the
Good Shepherd Humane Society. Fantastic work that’s going on here. A lot of excitement and
a lot of needs still. – Yes. – There’s always a growing need. An aging facility. You’re needing extra care for these particular items
that we talked about. If you need more information
you can be sure and call Jay, or any staff member to
get more information here at Good Shepherd Humane Society. You can go to their website. I’ll show that at the
end of this broadcast and you can go and look at their website. I know that they have some also
some social media presence, Facebook and such as that. So I’ll show you the links on the end of this broadcast as well. Jay, it’s a great day to
be here at Good Shepherd. Let me just say, if I was a dog or a cat, I’d like to be in your care if I was abandoned or
needed or had a need. It’s a great place to sorta
get a good start on life, or a new lease on life. We thank you for all that you’re doing for all the wonderful animals in our area. – You’re welcome. – And, don’t forget! Last but not least! If you’re looking for a dog–
– Absolutely. – Or a cat to adopt, this is the place to go. – It is the place. We have a great, great
selection of animals. They’re all different ages, sizes, breeds. Our shelter manager
really knows the animals so she can direct you to the one that’ll best suit your needs. – That’s what you’re here for! – That’s right. – Looking for a new home,
that’s what they’re all about. Thanks for joining us at
Eureka Springs Channel. We’ll see ya next time. Bye bye. – Thank you.
– Thank you, Jay. – Thank you.
– Appreciate it. Thank you so much.
– Thank you.

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