Oct 062005
 
Authors: Jennifer Johnson

For more information on volunteering, donating and adopting at the Larimer Humane Society please visit their Web site at www.LarimerHumane.org.

Abandoned and homeless animals at the Larimer Humane Society need help. With a small amount of time and donations, people can make a big difference in their lives.

Since 1969, the Larimer Humane Society (LHS) has been serving the animals and people of northern Colorado as an independent, non-profit agency. The Society is an open door shelter and no animal is ever turned away based on breed, age, temperament or medical condition. More than 900 animals are placed at the LHS each month and they are proud to be a community source and place of hope for the animals.

Cary Rentola, marketing and community events coordinator for the LHS, said that no matter what size donation is made, it will make a difference.

"The animals that come to the Larimer Humane Society need our assistance because they have been injured, are ill or have been orphaned or surrendered," she said. "It costs about $300 per animal from the time of entry to the time of adoption or final disposition, and that is why the community's financial support is needed and appreciated."

Both volunteering and donations are encouraged among the community and prove to be a positive and beneficial experience for both the volunteer and animal.

"Volunteers make a difference with their valuable time and just a few hours a week," Rentola said. "In 2004 our volunteer team of over 350 people donated 35,000 hours of time. Without their help, our staff would not have the time to go above and beyond the basic care necessary for the animals or our programs."

She said volunteers have the opportunity to put their love for animals to work while learning new skills at the same time, and students are welcome to come in and help.

"Students are encouraged to get their 'fur fix' by volunteering at the Larimer Humane Society," she said. "We have volunteer orientations that are held quarterly at the Harmony Library in Fort Collins."

The LHS is also a great place to adopt a loving and wonderful animal that eagerly awaits a new home. The trained staff and volunteers are dedicated to helping individuals find a pet that is right for them.

"My neighbors adopted from the Larimer Humane Society," said Kayla Rizzoli, senior speech communications major . "And they got a great dog out of it."

Rizzoli agrees with Rentola when it comes to students helping out at the society.

"Students should definitely volunteer or donate to the humane society," she said. "So many animals are homeless and deserve a good place to live."

Gina Myers, a sophomore social work major , has helped out at an animal shelter before and said that it was a great experience.

"I was in the Students Against Animal Cruelty at my high school and we went once a week to the Colorado Humane Society in Littleton," she said. "The experience was amazing. We walked dogs for a few hours, and they are just so incredibly happy to be out of their cages and to have attention from someone. It's absolutely heart-warming."

Myers said she believes animals need as much attention as humans, but people tend to forget this fact.

"The animals clearly benefit because they love the attention they get. We need to remember that animals have feelings and self-esteem too and being locked in a cage for months can lower self-esteem," she said. "It's also a great experience for the individual because you spend time with an animal that was neglected or unwanted so you're improving the quality of a life. It is also very therapeutic and stress relieving to play with or spend time with an animal."

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