If you’ve ever thought about adopting a cat or dog, you’ve likely visited the Marion Area Humane Society. Located at 2264 Richland Road since June of 1984, the shelter has been a staple in the community for Marion residents looking to adopt or surrender cats and dogs. The shelter is operated by passionate staff members and a proactive board whose mission it is to work hard to find families for homeless animals and to provide education to the community.
The Humane Society offers a safe place for surrendered animals where they will receive care by dedicated and nurturing staff as they wait to find their forever homes. During their stay dogs and cats receive necessary vaccinations, spay, and neuters, flea preventative, and deworming. This ensures that animals are healthy while waiting to be adopted. Visitors are also given biographies about each individual animal to help them find the perfect fit for their family.
Adopting animals into a forever home is an important goal for all of those working in the shelter. Sandy Azaroff, the Board President, expressed, “It is heartwarming it is to see an animal get adopted, especially an animal that has been on the adoption floor for months.” In 2019, the shelter took in 717 surrendered cats and dogs and had a total of 670 adoptions. Animals that are unable to find homes due to special disabilities, health defects, or those requiring more training are sent to certified rescues. Currently, the shelter has built a network of rescues from all over the country.
As a part of the community, the shelter collaborates with local schools to teach youth about animal care and safety. By taking dogs to assemblies and after school programs, staff are able to promote a sense of responsibility and care for pets at a young age. The shelter also offers a growing volunteer program for animal lovers ages 15 and over to assist with many of the important tasks at the shelter. Volunteers help with laundry, walking dogs, interacting with cats, cleaning, and taking dogs to events.
The Humane Society is very thankful for the support of the community. Weekly donations of cat and dog food, cat litter, toys, and bedding are a big help to shelter. The shelter also hosts events that help create a fun day for participants while helping the animals at the shelter. The Humane Society’s largest annual fundraiser, Pars for Pets, is held annually in August, with the community coming together to raise a large percentage of funds for the care of the animals at the shelter.
With help from the community, the shelter has been able to make new improvements to the building over the past 4 years. A storage shed was built on the property to allow for more storage of cat and dog food, cat litter, and the many cages used to transport animals to the veterinarian and events. An old storage room was transformed into a free-roam cat room. This room allows for adopters to view cats within a more relaxed atmosphere and also allows for more cats to be placed on the adoption floor. Fences were installed in the yard to allow for more dogs to exercise in the yards and to be able to have more meet-and-greets with potential adopters. The shelter has also installed new flooring, freshly painted walls, and new doors and windows for the dog viewing areas. All of these additions make for a safer environment for the animals and a more pleasant experience for visitors.
Whether you’re coming to adopt or just to volunteer, the Humane Society offers a truly great and unique experience for many of Marion’s residents.