Walk for the animal’s event was held on Saturday, September 14 and is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year for the Oshkosh Area Humane Society (OAHS). The OAHS mission is to promote the bond between animals and people, to provide community outreach and education, and to enhance the quality of lives of animals in need through compassionate sheltering, responsible adoptions, programs and services. The OAHS purpose is to provide shelter and care to lost, homeless, unwanted, abandoned and abused animals. In accordance with their Life Saving Mission, they pledge every healthy and treatable animal will receive the opportunity to find a loving home. The staff and volunteers are very dedicated to fulfilling their mission and purpose.
The OAHS has also begun to use the phrase “different on purpose” on some of their messaging to communicate their philosophy that every animal deserves an opportunity to find a loving family. The Executive Director, Joni Geiger makes the following points explaining this philosophy:
- If an animal has a treatable medical condition, we work with our network of medical professionals to get them as healthy as possible so they can have a good quality of life.
- If a cat comes in with a “litter box issue,” we run medical tests and then set them up for multi-day observation in our litter box testing room.
- If an animal is anxious or appears reactive when they arrive here, we give them time and space to settle in using positive reinforcement techniques.
- If an animal has a hard time adjusting to a shelter, we utilize our pool of resources including foster care, enrichment programs and behavior modification.
“These things mean we may have some animals staying here a little longer while they get the help they need. And that’s okay. Because we owe it to every one of them to invest in their success as an individual. Each life matters. That’s why we’re here, after all; we’re here for the animals and for the people in our community.”
I personally have adopted 3 dogs from the OAHS and know firsthand that they focus on matchmaking rather that first-come-first serve. They interview each adopter and get to know them so they can match them with an animal who would thrive with their lifestyle. That might mean that they steer people away from a certain animal and suggest a different one that might be a better fit. They want both the adopter and the animal to be happy. They ensure that the adopter has the tools they need, including tips and techniques, to make the transition to a new home as simple and easy as possible. Making sure that they set everyone up for success.
Speaking of success! The walk this year was a huge success. The theme for the event was “Be their Superhero!” and many superhero’s attended on a beautiful day. The costumes were very creative and colorful which alone were reason enough to come out to the event.
Many came out to enjoy the event and to support raising funds for animals in need. There were many fun activities for participants such as the vendor booths that you could shop, free pictures with your pet, the huge selection of basket raffles, bakery goodies, and of course the walk with the dogs. There were even some reptiles there that you could pet.
The fundraising goal of $52,000 for the medical fund was exceeded and ended up with a grand total of $59,646! That is pawsitively fantastic! This fundraising event was an inspiring and uplifting way to save animal lives. A big thank you went out to community and everyone who helped make the walk a huge success for the animals. I am very proud of the Oshkosh Area Humane Society and the “difference on purpose” they make in my community.
BY JEANNE JACOBS