A Small Story from the Owners of Recreation Unlimited
Our charity of choice here at Recreation Unlimited is the Humane Society for Hamilton County. As the owners of Recreation Unlimited we have a story to tell behind this. As a young married couple, we were just 26 and 29 when we started the Invisible Fence Company in Indianapolis in 1986. We liked the new product idea, loved animals, and with no dealer in this area, our timing was good. Well, as those things happen, the business took off. And through our 20 plus years immersed in the pet world we grew to love pets, and the people that love pets, even more.
Eventually and inevitably, we got to know Rebecca Stevens, the Director at the Humane Society for Hamilton County. Trust me…..in the world of dogs and cats, Rebecca is a hero. She treats each animal, forgotten or neglected, injured or healthy, young or old, as if they DESERVE a good life, a home, someone to love. A simple philosophy, right? Right. But a very difficult job.
How the Society Works
Many people don’t understand the Humane Society for Hamilton County. Is it a charity? Is it paid for by our tax dollars? Well, it IS a charity counting on donations to help these animals receive medical care, food, and the opportunity for a second chance. BUT, it does receive some money from the tax system and this is how that works. In Hamilton County, Animal Care and Control has an agreement with the Humane Society for Hamilton County to take the lost & unwanted cats and dogs that they pick up and then bring to HSHC. Your tax dollars pay enough money to hold these animals for 7 days, then euthanize each one of them, healthy or not, young or old. Rebecca and her staff do not euthanize them. Instead they keep them for as long as it might take to find a home. So, in the end, about 25% of the HSHC budget does come from tax dollars….the 25% representing your tax dollars for the “7 day hold and kill” model.
We live in a wonderful world in Hamilton County. We are one of the most prosperous and forward thinking communities in the country. But if you visit the HSHC you will see that it is bursting at the seams with cute and loving cats and dogs. So many, they look out at you from crates that overflow into the lobby. Many of the unselfish employees and volunteers work with additional cats and dogs at their feet or literally on their desks. It is both heart warming and heart breaking.
New Shelter Opportunity
When looking away is just too hard and space allows, Rebecca or her staff take additional animals from neighboring counties as well, on the verge of being killed. How proud can we be that we have one of the few no kill shelters in the country right here in Hamilton County? But we hope for and desperately need a better, adequate shelter for Rebecca and her furry visitors. Bigger, safer, more accessible to the public and linked to the community so this amazing effort in animal care can be celebrated. We have donated the 3 acres just to the south of our Recreation Unlimited showroom to the building of a new shelter. This is a highly visible area seen by both residents of Hamilton County and those that visit this very central part of Indiana. It can be a beacon and a reminder to the entire state telling everyone that Hamilton County is a shining example of compassionate care. Our hope is that it will also have a dog park which can be accessed by both your pet and the shelter animals. But Rebecca cannot begin a new shelter until they can support and solidify the budget of the current shelter.
How You Can Help!
On Thursdays, the entire proceeds of your admission will go directly to the shelter.
We also hope you will watch for the progress of the shelter project. It might take a long time, but if and when it is complete, Hamilton County can share the pride we gain in taking care of the most vulnerable of our population.
It is easy to donate to the shelter, and we will match your donation! Just visit www.hamiltonhumane.com and hit the DONATE NOW button. If you donate while you’re here on Thursdays, just show us at the counter and we will match your donation right then up to $1000. Yep…..ANY amount you donate up to $1000, we will match. And, you will play on Thursdays knowing your admission is helping a great cause.
I make one last plea. As a parent, rescuing a pet teaches a child a beautiful lesson. The love your child feels for that pet will forever change the attitude of your child toward adopting. And by example your child’s child will likely adopt one day as well. And on from there. Creating a better world. A world where animals are not sold for profit but taken in for love and care.
Thank you for hearing our story. It is your story too. And the story of all of us in Hamilton County and around Indiana who care for animals and their well being.
Carey and Brad Riley