By Nick Woodruff
STILLWATER, Okla. —
A local private organization is helping people possibly meet their new “best friend.”
The Stillwater Humane Society wants people to know the words “humane society” don’t always mean a bad thing.
“We’re not like the commercials you see on TV where the dogs are sad and unhappy and they’re sick and injured,” said Jackie Ross-Guerrero, director of the organization. “Our dogs are happy, and our animals are very well taken care of and it is actually a happy place.”
Ross-Guerrero said it’s not unusual for someone to want to have a birthday party or a date night at the Stillwater Humane Society. After being a director for approximately six years, she said she wants people to understand it’s a happy place and not a dark and gruesome jail for animals, which many people tend to believe.
Something unique the shelter does around the holidays is a foster program. Amy Kennedy is the volunteer coordinator at the humane society. She said the special holiday adoption program has not only been great for the animals, but also people.
Kennedy said the humane society lets people adopt dogs or cats for a week around the holidays. The humane society provides toys, food and all the essentials needed to take care of the animal during that week.
Kennedy said a lot of the time this process involves the foster family meeting their new permanent family member.
“Sometimes it’s a way for a family to try out the animal,” Kennedy said, “But also a lot of the time it’s just a way to get the animals out of the shelter for a week. It really gives them a decompression period and the people like it, too.”
During Thanksgiving, the humane society had all of its dogs go through the holiday adoption process, which emptied the shelter, Kennedy said. When the dogs came back Dec. 3, four of the dogs ended up being adopted permanently.
Even though foster programs such as the holiday program make the humane society different, Ross-Guerrero said this animal shelter has no ties to the government humane society programs. She said a 13-member board and donations run and operate the Stillwater Humane Society.
Ross-Guerrero said if a person wants their donation to stay local, they need to make the donation specifically to the Stillwater Humane Society.
Even though it’s the gift that keeps on giving, Ross-Guerrero said without the donations and fundraising events, the humane society wouldn’t be there. For example, she said Wal-Mart donates its broken bags of food and local veterinarians donate their time.
She said little things like that go a long way.
“We receive no funding from national, state or local government,” Ross-Guerrero said.
“We are small private animal shelter and everything you see here is donated. If you want to keep your money local go buy dog food or something and donate it here.”