Issue: The Humane Society of Perry is only able to house 25 cats in the local Cattary.

Local Impact: The community is struggling to maintain its stray animal population as more are being called into the Police Department without a place to stay.

On Monday, Sept. 11, new officers were recognized during a special meeting for the Humane Society of Perry. Dawson mayor and former Vice President of the Humane Society of Perry, Breanna Morman, will step up in her role now as President, followed by Betty Field as Vice President.

During Monday night’s meeting, volunteers reminded one another that despite the efforts lost in the past, the organization will continue to stay true to their purpose: providing for the animals in the Perry area

Morman discussed ideal next steps for the Humane Society in terms of organization of volunteers.

“I’m hoping to build a solid, reliable volunteer base,” Morman said.

“In taking over this position, I would like to see at some point have a Volunteer Coordinator, a Foster Care Coordinator – maybe a committee that is heading specific fundraisers that we do throughout the year,” Morman explained. “You just have to have those other people who have the good leadership skills, but also who are able to manage the paperwork that goes along with it and report to the next person.”

In implementing specific leaders for groups, more tasks could be offered to a variety of volunteers.

“We need outside commitments,” Vice President, Betty Field told the Monday night group.

This May, the sheltered returned ownership of the holding facility back to the city. The decision was a mutual effort, one of which would alleviate responsibilities from volunteers who were unable to assist.

Field first began as a volunteer for the holding facility last October.

“I’m a huge proponent of adopting,” Field described. “I kept following my heart and I ran into Abby when they were looking for someone to clean out the shelter.”

Field assisted in the upkeep of the shelter, often fostering animals as well. In addition, Field has five foster animals of her own at home.

One of the short-term goals Field has for Humane Society includes reinstating the holding facility back to the Humane Society, a process the group discussed in detail during Monday night’s meeting. To reinstate, Field understands the goal might take a few months to build as a contract needs to be created in place.

“Our most immediate goal is to try to work out with the city to try to take back the holding facility,” Field said. “We have to work those details with the city and it’s also going to require recruitment.”

Today, the Humane Society is in charge of the cattery, a building which can hold up to a maximum of twenty-five cats. Humane Society volunteer Dorthea Peterson currently oversees the cattery.

Volunteers are still important to the Humane Society where tasks range from washing towels that each cat rests on to making sure litter is fresh each day.

“We just depend on volunteers and we depend on responsible volunteers,” said Cattery volunteer, Dorthea Peterson in a previous interview. The work can be very emotionally charged at times, Former President of the Humane Society, Abby Benifiel described. According to Benifiel, she will still assist in the organization.

“There’s nothing like doing this work,” Benifiel recalled about the position as President. “The organization really cannot grow without volunteers and assisting with the work that needs to be done.”

“There’s certain times in the year where they [volunteers] can do more or less, so I wouldn’t say there’s been a decline, it’s just been one of those things where it’s a come and go.”

Morman appreciates all that Benifiel has done for the organization during her time as President.

“This is a very thankless, neverending job, and I do want to thank her for all of her time and hours spent that she gave towards the Humane Society,” Morman said. “I can speak for many that she was very knowledgable and had a ton of resources.”

The Humane Society first began in the community in 2005, where it has since dedicated 12 years of service to catering to the Perry animal community.

More than just a place to take care of animals, the Humane Society offers spay-neuter services, rabies clinics, vaccinations, financial assistance, emergency medical funds for animals, emergency medical funds assistance for low-income families, social media outreach, chipping devices, and many others.