FREEPORT — It was a busy weekend for the volunteers and staff of Friends Forever Humane Society.
To kick things off at the shelter, there was a drive-through pumpkin purchase, complete with items to buy like pumpkins, squash, gourds, plants and fun Halloween costumes for cats and dogs.
Cars lined up in the parking lot to select the items for purchase. Everyone played it COVID-19 safe, and as she stood back to watch people purchase items or to donate money, Carol Falconer, executive director for the humane society, said, “This just makes me smile. People have been so generous to us during the pandemic, and to know we can make some money, allows us to know we can pay our electric bill.”
Kris Piper of Dakota took her time selecting just the right pumpkin. Jodie Modica, a volunteer, was patient as Piper changed her mind, and after Modica handed Piper the right pumpkin, Piper said, “I have two cats from this shelter and I like that they are a no-kill shelter. They take such great care of each animal, and I just hope more people remember them during this difficult time.”
Falconer said the year has been difficult, as the humane society has not been able to hold their many fundraisers. Money is tight. She said the annual rummage sale, which also took place on Saturday and Sunday in Cedarville, is usually a great way to know that money will come in to help get through the winter months.
Also on Saturday was a pet food giveaway, which takes place twice a month at the shelter. Falconer said she has seen an upsurge in people needing to find a way to feed their animals, and with the free pet food giveaway, it makes her feel good that animals are not going hungry.
“This weekend is our triple threat,” Falconer said. “We hope to make money through our fundraisers, and it is also a time that we can give back by giving pet food to those people who need a little help.”
The pet food giveaway is held on the second Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m. The food given is often donated from people or a national retail chain that sells pet food.
“Giving pet food to people who need help is our way of making sure that the pets stay in their homes,” Falconer said. “Since COVID hit, giving pet food away has been steady. I expected an increase. It hasn’t been drastic, but is steady.”
Falconer said the shelter is in need of donations, both monetary and for gift cards from local retailers that allows them to purchase much-needed items.
“The pumpkin drive-through is a first for us, as we have had to resort to outdoor fundraising this year,” she said. “We hope to do the same thing for Christmas wreaths.
“It has been a struggle this year, and the lack of fundraisers has hurt, but we remain committed to doing what we can at the shelter to care for the animals.”
Jane Lethlean: [email protected]; @DOGWMN2