Humane Society Helping Community For 55 Years (Photos)
The Montgomery County Humane Society (MCHS) has been working to secure animals for over 50 years. It provides emergency shelter among other needs including preventive veterinary care, temporary foster care, and evaluating the behavior of shelter animals while keeping them engaged and socialized.
b j Altschul serves as the director of external relations. She primarily works on community outreach to help educate the community about the companies initiatives.
She sat down with MyMCMedia’s Community Engagement Specialist Tamika Smith to talk about working with MCHS and what drives its commitment to the community everyday.
Tamika Smith: You started working with the company in 2007, how has the company does the Montgomery County Humane Society help local animals?
b j Altschul: We help every animal that comes through our doors regardless of age, health, condition or temperament. They may have been given up by their owners, found as strays, or rescued from a cruelty situation. They may be old, injured, abused, orphaned, ill or unsocialized when they arrive, but our compassionate team gives them loving care, medical attention, socialization, and enrichment, along with every effort to find them new homes.
Homeless animals come through our doors every day and around the clock. As the only full-service animal shelter in Montgomery County, in FY 2012 we handled more than 8,000 animals.
Smith: How can someone the community adopt a pet?
Altschul: We’ve recently updated our adoption process to make it easier and quicker for you to find and bring home your new friend. You may want to look at our website first to see some of the adoptable animals before you come to the shelter. Our website also spells out what you should bring with you to be ready to start the adoption process, including a questionnaire that will help you choose the best pet for you and your family’s lifestyle. When you visit the shelter, you’ll meet the animal and also a member of our adoption team to go over any questions you may have about bringing the animal home. Pets that aren’t already spayed or neutered will go to the vet, and you’ll pick your pet up there after surgery.
Smith: How can I get involved?
Altschul: There are lots of ways you can help, from becoming a volunteer, to doing one or more service projects, to making a donation of gently used items or something on our wish list or even money! Volunteer opportunities include hands-on contact with the animals (dog walking, cat and small mammal socializing), front desk assistant, special events assistant, animal transporter, humane education presenter, and Wagging Tails Thrift Store assistant.
Smith: What should I do in case of an animal emergency?
Altschul: Through June 30, call 240-773-5900 if you see a sick or injured animal (domestic or wildlife), physical abuse to an animal, an animal hit by a car, or an aggressive dog at large. NOTE: This number will be changing effective July 1, 2013 – check our website then for further information.
If your own pet is having a medical emergency, our website also lists contact information for several emergency veterinary hospitals in the region.
Smith: What other interesting information can you offer to the community about your organization?
Altschul: Some interesting factoids:
- In addition to dogs and cats, we care for and adopt out rabbits and small mammals, reptiles (we currently have an iguana!), birds, fish and turtles, chickens and other farm animals.
- On average, we reunite four pets a day with their owners.
- We adopt out approximately 2,800 animals to adoptive homes, foster homes and private rescue organizations every year.
- The Montgomery County Humane Society is one of several public and private partners in the County Animal Response Team (CART), which helps people prepare themselves and their pets for an emergency, including operating an emergency pet shelter in conjunction with a human shelter.