It can be argued that for many people, being able to feed and care for their pets is as important as caring for themselves and their families. For many of us, our pets have provided much needed comfort, joy and support as we’ve navigated this difficult time. It’s important for you to know that despite the challenges we face, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT) remains committed to doing everything we can to help people keep the pets they love as well as be here to care for the animals who will need us moving forward.
Like many of you, we were forced to change our operations overnight to keep our community healthy while meeting a growing demand for our services. We moved dozens of animals into foster care, started providing curbside adoptions, built virtual humane education learning programs and dramatically increased our Pet Pantry program to include home delivery, pop-ups in high-need areas including the Senior Center and mobile home parks in Truckee, North and South Lake Tahoe, and developed partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to ensure we’re reaching the people who need us most. In just a few short weeks we have provided our community with over 3,000 pounds of pet food and 150 pounds of cat litter.
It is always our hope to keep pets in the homes of the people who love them so as soon as we are able, we will resume our Wellness Clinics to provide free vaccinations and microchips to animal in need. Unfortunately, however, these measures won’t be enough for everyone. The economic impact of COVID-19 will sadly result in an uptake in animal relinquishments due to financial hardship and changes in housing caused by that hardship. In our animal-loving area, the decision to rehome a pet is heartbreaking. HSTT will be here to help pet owners through that selfless process by providing medical care, healthy food and a safe, warm place to live for every pet that comes our way.
Each year we are also a lifeline to hundreds of animals in overcrowded shelters in nearby communities. These shelters will see the same influx in relinquishments that we anticipate, which means they’ll need us more than ever before.
Long story short, as we resume operations our services will be in high demand and we need to be ready.
Like many other non-profit organizations, we have and will continue to suffer financial hardship due to a steep decline in donations, program and event income. In April, our general donations are down 65%, we lost $20,000 in program income and fundraisers have come to a halt. We hope to hold our largest annual fundraisers in August and September, but we are acutely aware that they may not happen, which would result in a net loss of approximately $150,000.
We have waited to reach out to our supporters because we know that you, too, are struggling and we want to be sensitive to that. We understand many of you may not be in a position to help us at this time, and we respect that.
If you are able and would like to help us raise money to meet our current demands, as well as help HSTT prepare for the future, please donate to HSTT on Tuesday, May 5th; an emergency Giving Tuesday global day of giving and unity. On that very special day, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe will have $20,000 in matching funds available and everyone who makes a $150 tax-deductible* contribution will be entered to win a $500 VISA gift card.**
With deepest gratitude, we thank you for all you do to help homeless pets and the people who love them. I hope you and your family are staying healthy during these very trying times.
CEO, Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe