"From Pizza to Pets!" That could well be the motto for the Tama County Humane Society, (TCHS) housed in a building on the east side of Tama that used to be a pizza parlor. Now, that building has found its purpose in service, as it functions as a temporary home for 150 200 animals each year. Officially designated as a "no kill shelter," TCHS operates on a principle of "treating the treatable and training the trainable!" Only very rarely must an animal be euthanized. Instead, the pets move through the shelter and on to homes where they can be loved and enjoyed.
The Tama County Community Foundation is pleased to support the fine work of the TCHS. A grant, awarded by the Community Foundation in 2011, was used to replace a failing heating and cooling system. Now the animals and the humans who care for them can enjoy much more comfortable temperatures at lower operating costs.
TCHS is totally funded by private contributions, and functions entirely through volunteer support. Laurie Schultz, Chair of the TCHS Board of Directors, heaped lavish praise on the many, many volunteers who give time or gifts each year to support the shelter. She recently spoke of the youth groups, school groups, and seniors who stop at TCHS on a regular basis to help walk the dogs, clean the kennels, or socialize with the kittens. Schultz stated, "the pets don't judge us as humans, so everyone is welcome to help with their care."
Transforming a former pizza parlor into an efficient animal shelter has been a "labor of love and exhaustion," according to Schultz. The shelter was licensed in October, 2009. Over time, as financial support has allowed, made-to-order cages and runs have been added in four different areas of the modest facility. There is also a "receiving/quarantine" area, where new animals are segregated for a time as their health and dispositions are assessed. Several outdoor dog runs offer opportunity for the dogs to exercise in the fresh air.
Schultz is also grateful for the high level of community support that has been extended TCHS in its few brief years of existence. She gratefully mentioned the support of area veterinarians who assist in the treatment of pets that are injured or ill. She spoke appreciatively of the donor who contributed a washer and dryer to the shelter, and she thanked the many other donors who contribute gifts, large and small, to ensure the ongoing success of the shelter.
Organized as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, TCHS can receive direct, tax deductible contributions. Gifts can also be channeled through the Tama County Community Foundation. Endowment gifts, especially, can be directed through the Foundation to support the ongoing work of TCHS for generations to come.
The Tama County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, has been created by and for the people of Tama County. The Community Foundation's main goals are to support charitable projects and programs, such as TCHS, in Tama County, to attract additional funds, and to assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within Tama County.
For more information about the TCCF, contact the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa at (319) 287-9106, or Rick Krug, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation at (319) 478-2148.