Cabot Challenges Community To Match Donation to Animal Shelter
True Friends Animal Welfare Center (TFAWC) formed during the past year in an effort to take on the responsibilities of the former Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals (PSPCA) when the latter organization announced that the doors of the animal shelter it had operated at routes 706 and 29 at the lake in Montrose since the 1990s would be closed in March.
With the blessing of the Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties (CFSWC), True Friends sealed the deal and will officially take the reins of the shelter on June 22. Despite the dedication of the TFAWC board members, several of whom had served as volunteers with PSPCA and the Susquehanna County Humane Society, the group is short on the funds that will be needed to maintain operations and provide care for approximately 70 cats and 34 dogs on site.
Cabot Oil and Gas Company has stepped in to help True Friends with their efforts by offering to match the donations of business leaders and community members to the tune of $10,000. “It’s small in comparison to what True Friends will need yearly,” said Cabot landman and TFAWC board member Janice Lobdell. “We wanted to do more in terms of getting the community involved.”
Lobdell, who resides in Dimock, has three dogs, two cats, a horse, and a rabbit named Cabot. She and the other board members share a compassion for displaced pets and want to continue to match the adoptable dogs and cats with loving families.
True Friends board president Dory Browning noted that it is especially challenging to find homes for older animals, even though they often are easier to assimilate into a new home environment and can be the most grateful. Zeus, for example, is a 10-year-old, gentle, Staffordshire terrier who will soon mark his first year at the shelter. “I don’t want to see him live his life out here,” said Browning, who suggested that Zeus would make the perfect pet for a single, retired person, who needs a companion. “He likes to hang out and go for slow walks,” she added.
All pets adopted from the shelter are current on shots and have been micro-chipped to expedite their return if they become lost. Currently, TFAWC will issue vouchers for the pets to be spayed or neutered by a veterinarian, a service that True Friends hopes to provide onsite in coming years.
The organization hopes to expand on its current 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily hours of operation. Board members, like Anne Dean, are also adamant that they want the shelter to retain its “no kill” status, noting that no adoptable animal has been euthanized for more than two years.
Cabot’s relationship with True Friends extends beyond the monetary donation, Lobdell explained. The gas company also invites the shelter representatives to join them in the Cabot booth at various weekend events in the area. “Our team recognizes Cabot as a good corporate citizen for our community,” Browning stated in a press release. “We are thrilled to have them as our partner.”
Until True Friends finalizes its nonprofit status, she noted CFSWC will collect and hold monetary contributions on behalf of the organization. TFAWC supporters may send their tax-deductible donations to The Community Foundation of Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties, 270 Lake Ave., Montrose, PA 18801.
True Friends will make available to businesses and individuals renewable annual sponsorships of its dog kennels.
Volunteers Also Needed
Animal lovers with some time to spare will find numerous volunteer opportunities at TFAWC, from cuddling kittens and walking dogs to more hands-on tasks like cleaning kennels and other maintenance duties. “We do have people who walk dogs, but we need so many more,” said board member Beth Williams.
Routine socialization makes all of the pets at the shelter more adoptable. Browning noted that Dean has walked dogs at the shelter twice per day in all kinds of weather for many years. “We have dogs of all sizes to walk,” said Dean, adding that the organization welcomes Scouts, 4-H and church youth groups to consider developing projects that would benefit both the youths and True Friends. High school students, it was noted, can earn community service credits toward graduation by volunteering at the shelter.
Browning reported TFAWC hopes to conduct several community dog walks as fundraisers in the coming year. The ultimate focus of True Friends, however, Lobdell explained, is to help the community resolve the issues that lead animals to shelters to begin with. Interested readers may contact Browning at 570-280-6726 and board member Julia Fagan at 570-280-6639 to learn more about volunteer opportunities.