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Humane Society launches fund-raiser

From Baskets of Thanks to Santa Paws to Fur Bowl, the Beltrami Humane Society counts on fund-raisers and donations to keep in the business of finding homes for dogs and cats.

This month, the society launched a new project, "Help A Pet" donation cards offered at 30 businesses around Bemidji.

Roger Roberts, society board member and fund-raising chairman, said Arrow Printing gave a special deal on making the cards and posters and printed 5,600 of them. If they all "sell" at $1 each, the funds would carry the cost of running the shelter for about one month. Roberts said Pinnacle Publishing provided the graphics for the cards and posters as a donation. He said the Stuff-A-Truck project last month raised more than $3,000 last month for the Bemidji Food Shelf using donation cards.

Kit Belcher, Humane Society director, said the shelter is almost always full to capacity with 45 cat kennels and 28 dog kennels. The shelter can house more animals than the number of kennel indicate because a mother dog or cat and the puppies or kittens count as one kennel unit. She said a new batch of puppies and kittens will be finished with their series of immunizations and ready for adoption on Saturday. There are also many adult dogs and cats available.

The shelter hours for December are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with regular hours back in effect, noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, in January.

Roberts said the society is seeking volunteers and board members, as well as someone to work as a volunteer coordinator, organizing volunteers for various projects. Volunteer training is next scheduled for 1-2 p.m. Dec. 16.

"We're a working board," Roberts said. "We do the fund-raising and keep the medical records."

Geri Hickerson is the board chair.

The shelter was started in 1977 and is a no-kill facility. The shelter also takes adoptable dogs and cat from animal control units in Bemidji and the surrounding area, if space is available. The shelter also keeps a waiting list for people who want to surrender an animal and there isn't a kennel available.

"We've actually been adopting out at a good rate, but there are so many animals," Roberts said.,

"They come in as fast as they go out," Belcher said.