These people really love their work.
That’s the first thing that comes to mind once you’ve had a chance to digest the full scope of activities and services offered by the Montgomery Humane Society (MHS), which has made a point of going that extra mile to not only house the community’s stray pets but to educate the public through a number of creative community outreach initiatives.
“We are an open admission shelter, which means we will accept any animal under any condition,” said MHS Marketing and Development Manager Lea Turbert. “We are an adoption center, we run a lost and found program. We also have a contract with the city of Montgomery for any stray dogs that are roaming the city.”
What this open admission policy translates into is an awful lot of stray pets that fall under their care, which means a lot of work for those involved, especially Turbert. But as someone with a lifelong love of animals, she’s not complaining. It’s what she’s always wanted to do, and her 15-year association with the organization has been a testament to her commitment and dedication to bridging the gap between the two-legged citizens of Montgomery and their four-legged friends.
“I grew up always loving pets. I started volunteering here at the place that I loved and was passionate about. Then they asked me to help them with events, then asked me to be on the board of directors. Then the position of the marketing director opened up here so I applied and got the position. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I have never worked a day in my life since I started working here. I’m very happy, it’s a family here. You start realizing what’s really important here.”
What’s important is trying to find good homes for so many strays while educating the local community by spreading the word about why spaying and neutering pets is so important. Turbert points out that this simple procedure can keep animals from roaming so much and also decreases aggressive behavior which keeps them from getting into a lot of fights.
“We get in over 8,900 animals a year. Unfortunately only over 3,000 get adopted. But that doesn't mean we are euthanizing them. That means we will hold on to them. There is no time limit with the Montgomery Humane Society. We've had dogs and cats for over a year. So as long as we know they are adoptable, we will do everything we can. We are very active in the community. We go out to a lot of outreach programs. We go out to any event that invites and allows us to bring our dogs or educate the public.”
And speaking of bringing out the dogs, the Montgomery Humane Society also partnered with the City of Montgomery “and a lot of great businesses” to raise money for the creation of the Hannah Daye Dog Park, the city’s very first dog park.
“It is the most beautiful park I’ve ever seen,” said Turbert. “It’s a leash-off park, which means anyone can bring their dog. There’s a side for large breeds and a side for smaller breeds. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
The Humane Society does outreach to local schools to teach children early about proper care for animals, but they also have creative and fun programs like the pet photo contest (anyone anywhere can participate by submitting their pictures online at montgomeryhumane.com. Contest ends on August 1st), the ‘walk and wag’ 1-mile pledge walk where pet owners can get others to pledge for them to walk their dog, and the ‘dogutante’.
“You know in the south there is a big thing called the debutante where you come out with your children. But we have a dogutante where you come out with your dog and the dog comes up on stage and you talk about your dog. You get a beautiful basket that you get to take home that night. We have a silent auction along with a buffet dinner. It’s just a great way to celebrate your dog. This year we had it in April and almost all the dogs that went got adopted. The funds that we use from the proceeds go towards medical treatment for the animals.”
What’s not to love?
The Montgomery Humane Society is open 7 days a week from 10 am - 5 pm. They can be reached by phone at (334) 409-0622. Text the word "PETS" to 41212 to receive information about MHS events and about pets that are up for adoption.