Heritage Humane Society chased puppies and donors on Giving Tuesday

aheymann@vagazette.com

You probably noticed what day it was when you logged onto Facebook Tuesday morning and saw fundraising pleas pop up on your newsfeed, or on your ride to work when you heard WHRV ask listeners to donate to the station.

Nov. 27 was Giving Tuesday, an event that kicked off the end-of-year giving season for charities across the region, including the Heritage Humane Society.

The Heritage Humane Society is an open-admission animal shelter in Williamsburg. Open admissions shelters will not turn away any pet, no matter their condition.

“(Giving Tuesday) is one of (Heritage Humane Society’s) biggest giving days of the year,” said Kimberly Laska, executive director of the shelter. “We have a $10,000 gift match from community members, so we are very excited about the support that is going to provide animals care.”

Laska said 93 percent of the shelter’s budget is raised from individual contributions. According to Laska, last year the Humane Society raised $38,000 on Giving Tuesday, so this year they hope to raise $40,000.

“We’re really excited because (the money) could do great things,” Laska said. “It covers vet bills and spay and neuter costs … and the hundreds and hundreds of other costs that come with running an animal shelter.”

Not 20 minutes after Laska said that, Barbara Streb, a chairwoman on the Humane Society’s Christmas Bazaar Board, came in to give the shelter $1,000; which pushed the Humane Society over its first fundraising goal of $10,000.

Streb said the Humane Society was her favorite charity in the area, and that she has been involved with the Williamsburg branch for 14 years.

“I always donate locally, and (Heritage Humane Society) is number one in my book,” Streb said. “These are our local animals and these are our local people who need animals and who need help with the animals they can no longer care for — so I think (donating) is a wonderful way to reach out and touch people on the street and animals we see.”

To celebrate the fundraising goal, Laska posted a live stream video on the Humane Society's Facebook page — not before helping chase a group of escapee puppies down a hallway.

“Right now we’re a little tight on space for animals,” Laska said, gesturing to the cages lining the hallway. She said the shelter had taken in some dogs from Texas to help ease tight shelter space.

“But we’re coming into our biggest adoption season of the year between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Laska said. “We do have a promotion running through the end of the year: 25 percent off the adoption fee for adult animals.”

While Giving Tuesday may have ended, the Heritage Humane Society will hold other fundraisers soon, including:

  • The annual Christmas Bazaar on Dec. 8, which will be held in Burton Parish Hall. Volunteers will sell homemade crafts, as well as gourmet soups from top restaurants in the area.
  • The Fur Tree is a fundraiser where donors can buy a bow in honor of a pet or pet lover to be placed on a tree in front of Mermaid Books. Bows can be ordered at heritagehumane.org/furtree.

Want to donate?

You can donate at heritagehumane.org/donate, by phone at 221-0150 ext. 1003 or by mail or in person at Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

You can also find other local charities, as well as their donation information at givelocal757.org.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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