Annual Giving | Update from our Board President

As we approach the end of 2020, Friends of the Animal Shelter is one of many worthy organizations asking for financial help. Local animal lovers look to Jackson County Animal Services and FOTAS as leaders in making a difference for animals in our community.

Please consider:

  • Contributing to the matching challenge to help with rebuilding the fire-damaged play yards and associated structures.

  • Contributing to the new spay/neuter suite to get animals out of kennels and into a forever homes much quicker. This new mobile trailer will eliminate the stress of shuttling of animals to vet clinics for medical procedures. It will also allow us to assist other communities across the county and work with our like-minded partners in current and future rescue and recovery efforts

 


Read our Annual Giving Letter from FOTAS Board President, Tilly Gibbs

When I worked in hospitals, we were tested annually on what to do in case of fire. We knew where to find the fire alarm,
how to use a fire extinguisher, and how to get to the outside safe zone. It was easy to follow these instructions when you
knew it is a drill.

The Almeda fire was far from “easy”. With flames and dense smoke whipping around the Shelter, there was no time to
brush up on an emergency plan. Gut instincts had to be followed to act as quickly as possible, which meant gathering a
Shelter full of animals and supplies and get out. Just GET OUT and hope that the roads were still open and that there was
enough gas in the tank. Grab and Go!

The Jackson County Expo horse arena then became the Jackson County Animal Services/Friends of the Animal Shelter
home for the next month. Our story of escape paled to those told by folks looking for their lost animals, hoping that maybe,
just maybe, their cat or dog would be found safe when their homes and neighborhoods were burnt to ash. When animals
are frightened, their instinct is to hide. Not the reaction you want when there is literally no time to spare.

The fires taught us many things. We learned that no one was in this alone. We learned that we have an amazingly
generous and supportive community. We learned to never get tired of saying “how can I help you”, or “thank you so much”.
We learned that pets are resourceful and resilient. We learned that saving a pet is so much more than just saving a life.

Fast forward. What are the next steps?

Although the Jackson County Animal Shelter building itself survived, there was considerable damage to outside storage
structures, play yard equipment, benches, fencing, landscaping and so many shade trees. The play yards are essential
for helping to socialize dogs while they learn to romp well with others. Organized play groups relieve stress and ease
the dogs’ way through the Shelter system, enabling better and faster adoptions.

With huge thanks to Neil Sechan and Matt Messner, long-time supporters and animal lovers, a matching gift of $10,000
has been pledged to rebuild peaceful, tranquil, and safe areas for the Shelter dogs to spend time outdoors, engage in
play groups, and spend time with potential adopters.

As we approach the end of 2020, Friends of the Animal Shelter is one of many worthy organizations asking for financial
help. Local animal lovers look to Jackson County Animal Services and FOTAS as leaders in making a difference for animals
in our community.

Solving an ongoing issue

Routine availability of spay/neuter services has been an ongoing challenge. The Shelter is a spay/neuter-before adoption
facility, and with no medical clinic at the Shelter, staff and volunteers have always had to shuttle our stressed animals to
and from veterinary clinics. COVID restrictions have further limited veterinarians from performing non-emergent procedures
and hampered their capacity. This results in adoptable animals waiting in the Shelter and foster homes for an additional
3-4 weeks for their surgeries.

To address this issue, the Shelter and FOTAS are making plans to create a small spay/neuter surgical suite in a utility trailer
that could be conveniently parked on Shelter property. A terrific trailer was generously donated by Matt and Lorna Bolton,
long-time FOTAS volunteers, but still must be outfitted with surgical tables, anesthesia machines, lighting, HVAC and support
equipment. We are lucky to have retired and part-time veterinarians who are helping to launch this program. Our small suite
is not intended to compete with local veterinary offices. Instead, it will help relieve the backlog of spay/neuter surgeries for
Shelter animals and fire rescues.

As we approach the end of 2020, Friends of the Animal Shelter is one of many worthy organizations asking for financial
help. Local animal lovers look to Jackson County Animal Services and FOTAS as leaders in making a difference for animals
in our community.

Please consider:
• Contributing to the matching challenge to help with rebuilding the fire-damaged play yards
and associated structures.
• Contributing to the new spay/neuter suite to get animals out of kennels and into a forever homes
much quicker. This new mobile trailer will eliminate the stress of shuttling of animals to vet clinics
for medical procedures. It will also allow us to assist other communities across the county and
work with our like-minded partners in current and future rescue and recovery efforts.

If you have already made your annual donation, we are so very grateful! If not, please know that every gift of any amount
will help us with these two important and urgent projects that will have a long-term benefits for Shelter and community
animals, and their future.

Thank you, again, for your generous support,
Tilly Gibbs
FOTAS Board President

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MISSION STATEMENT

Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1990 to support the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Our vision is for all adoptable animals at the Jackson Country Animal Shelter to find a loving home. Our mission is to recruit and train volunteers who will save lives by increasing pet adoptions at the Jackson Country Animal Shelter, improve the quality of life for the Shelter’s animals, promote spay and neuter, and facilitate outreach and educational activities about the humane treatment of companion animals throughout Jackson County. Our values are: Service, Compassion and Generosity.

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