2019:  The Year that Was

Now that the new year is in full swing, we’d like to take a moment to look back on 2019 and everything that happened at the Brown County Humane Society during the year.

First of all, with the help of countless volunteers and supporters, BCHS achieved an incredible save rate of 98.3% for the year. This marks the fifth year in a row that the save rate has been above 97%, far surpassing the national average of approximately 70% and again making BCHS one of the leading shelters in the country.

What those statistics represent are wonderful stories. Lost pets reunited with their families, special needs pets finding loving homes, neglected pets finally getting to become part of a family. It wasn’t just about the animals, either. Kids adopted their first pet, a young man was comforted by his pet while grieving, another man’s pet made him laugh again after a terrible accident. Mostly, hundreds of pets and people were able to experience the joy of being together.

There were other successes as well. The Serving Pets Outreach Program (SPOT) celebrated its tenth year of service and had provide low-cost spay/neuter for 6,666 community pets. In 2019, there were 27 scheduled surgery transports. There were 24 fields visits to SPOT customers providing over 16,000 pounds of pet food, and the annual Rabies and Vaccine clinic provided a record number of vaccines for community pets.

Three out of four special events raised record amounts in 2019. The annual Chocolate Walk saw attendees coming from all over Indiana and surrounding states and continues to sell out each year. The Barn Sale was the biggest yet, and the online auction is growing with a wonderful variety of donated items.

At the same time, much of the year focused on raising funds for the new animal shelter. As of the end of the year, $3,105,058 has been raised toward the $3.2 million goal. One highlight was the community joining together with the Howard Hughes Pass Through Fund at the Brown County Community Foundation to raise enough money to name the Dr. James Brester Animal Treatment Room in honor of his 50 years of dedication to the community.

None of this happens without a fantastic staff. Their work is challenging and, sometimes, heartbreaking, but they do well and with compassion and grace. They are supported by the hard work of our volunteer Board of Directors and by thousands of hours of help from volunteers.

Then, of course, there was you. If you dropped off a bag of dog food for the SPOT program, had your own pets spayed/neutered, attended the Chocolate Walk, or donated on Giving Tuesday, you saved hundreds of animals in 2019. You are the adopters, the donors, and the volunteers who make it all happen.

This new year will bring even more excitement as we break ground for the new shelter building. We look forward to continuing the journey together.