Suffolk Humane Society seeks community’s help
Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023
The Suffolk Humane Society needs the community’s assistance to continue providing animals in-need a better home.
Located on 412 Kings Fork Rd, the non-profit organization’s facilities need repairs and maintenance in various parts of the area such as shelving for its garage, restoration of its quarantine area to continue keeping sick animals safe and fencing to help with security.
Suffolk Humane Society Executive Director Kerri Shallcross gave the News-Herald a tour of its operations to show issues it is facing.
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“Since we’re not experts at this, again, I have to depend on a volunteer who may know what to do so that they can give us suggestions, ideas and then are they able to even come in and do the project? That’s why again we’re trying to look out to the community to see if there’s anybody that can possibly help us,” Shallcross said during the tour. “Whether it’s giving us advice, whether it’s having a team help put everything together, anything that they can do to help is very, very much needed.”
The laundry area suffered from flooding due to a broken sink. While one of the volunteers – who also is a plumber – was able to fix the sink leakage, but left without finishing the area affected by the damage.
“So now I need drywall here and so far, I haven’t had a volunteer come in yet that was able to do that, so that’s why we’re looking for a little bit of help for this project,” Shallcross said during the tour.
The quarantine building, the society’s area to keep sick animals safe as they recover, also is in need of non-porous walls and floors. Due to the conditions, Shallcross said, the society relies on fosters to take them home and care for them while they’re sick.
“But we’re trying to get this building up and ready so we don’t have to always depend on fosters to take them home and care for them,” Shallcross said.
The garage, where blankets, food and toys are stored, also needs a new shelving system to help with spacing and organization of their inventory. There also is a hole near the building that causes flooding from storms into the kitchen area. Likewise, the organization needs a fence to help prevent burglaries as well as to keep animals from escaping.
The Society is mostly run by volunteers, but unfortunately Shallcross said the number of volunteers isn’t enough.
“We currently are working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. We were hoping to open back up on Wednesdays so that we are here for Suffolk residents to come and see us, but we don’t have enough volunteers,” expressed Shallcross. “We need at least volunteers to cover the desk everyday that we’re open, and that’s to answer phones, meet the guests as they come in, give out food and supplies to residents. We have seven days a week, people that need to come and care for our cats. Right now we have some fantastic volunteers, but because of promotions or moves, they no longer are able to stay with us.”
Suffolk resident and volunteer Tom Rein shared his first time volunteering within the last month and realizing “so much more can be done” with the society.
“We have a lot of great volunteers, but as Kerri said, it’s just not enough. I thought, we can do so much more if we can take care of the facility itself and upgrade it because eventually it’s going to get to the point where it’s going to cost way too much money,” Rein said after the tour. “We’re not looking for handouts. We’re really looking to the community to invest into the Suffolk Humane Society to give back to them. We just don’t even know who to turn to on a lot of this stuff. It’s things that just have come up over time.”
Shallcross provided a rundown of the most important issues.
“The biggest would be having someone look at our hot water heater. Fixing the drywall under the sink in the laundry area, the shelving, the fencing and then the biggest is the quarantine building,” she said. “That is our number one we-want-to-get-done-as soon-as-possible ready to go.”
Finally, Shallcross said there is a message she wants to share with the community.
“We could use the volunteer help. We could use donations of food and other types of supplies,” she said. “They can come in to help us with the projects that we need. We need cat care volunteers, reception desk volunteers, our SAC (Suffolk Animal Control) subs volunteers, and even coming by just to say ‘hi.’”
Of course, Shallcross said they can use donations of any kind – whether it’s money or items..
“We are not government subsidized,” she explained. “Everything we do is based on the donations that we receive or the fundraisers that we do.”
For more information on how you can help, go to suffolkhumanesociety.com or call at (757) 538-3030.