Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 in CommunityBlog written by Rob Swenson
Allergies in her family prevent Andrea Leesch from adopting another dog, but her love of animals remains strong. She continues to support the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, too.
Leesch, a digital specialist in the marketing department at SDN Communications, occasionally helps exercise dogs at the Humane Society.
“It’s a great lunch break to go out there and walk a dog around the grounds and get some exercise for yourself,” she says.
She’s also served as an unofficial matchmaker by recommending animals she’s seen on the society’s website to friends looking for pets.
She even served six years on the Humane Society’s Board of Directors, including a stint as vice president, before leaving KELOLAND Television early last year to join SDN’s staff.
Leesch is not the only SDN employee who supports the Humane Society as an occasional volunteer or with donations. The company also hosts an event about once a year to help raise money and pet food for the shelter, which is significantly upgrading its facilities.
“If people are interested in volunteering, now is the perfect time,” says Malorie Adamson, marketing and public outreach coordinator for the Humane Society. “We’re short-staffed.”
The Humane Society is “extremely dependent” on volunteers, says Alma Sehovic, volunteer coordinator. Dozens of volunteers contribute an average of about 450 work hours per month, she says.
“We always could use more volunteers. It would be even better if they could show up every month and become regular volunteers,” Sehovic says.
Volunteers are encouraged to take a 40-minute orientation class and then sign up for regular duty. But people who prefer to show up at their convenience are put to work, too.
People interested in volunteering should visit the Humane Society's Volunteer page or call 605-338-4441.
In addition to walking dogs, volunteers snuggle with cats, help groom animals or clean facilities. They also assist with events, such as the organization’s annual Paws to Celebrate fundraiser, which includes auctions and winetasting.
Expansion work underway
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is a nonprofit organization that has existed since 1919. It is funded by donations, grants and fundraising activities - not by a national organization.
Kori Baade is the executive director, and Ken Giegling of Avera McKennan is the president of the Board. The organization has 23 full- and part-time employees.
The open admission facility cares for abandoned, abused, homeless and unwanted animals – primarily dogs and cats. Its mission is to help find permanent homes for animals, prevent animal cruelty and educate people about the humane treatment of animals.
The facility takes in more than 10,000 animals per year.
The society’s facilities at 3720 E. Benson Road are being extensively expanded and remodeled. Approximately 200 additional kennels and 5,000 square feet of space are being added to the complex as part of a $2 million improvement project.
Work began last September and is expected to be finished this August, Adamson says. Much-needed space is being created or improved, she says.
The facility is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
To visit the facility, take Benson Road east of Interstate 229, just past the point that it turns into a gravel road. You’ll be impressed.
For information about donating or adopting a pet, visit the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society’s website.
Learn more about the organizations SDN supports through the community service page of its website.