Step up for animals; Sunday walk is key for paying no-kill shelter’s bills

Published 7:55 am Thursday, September 7, 2017

On Sunday, the Mower County Humane Society will hold its 21st annual Walk for Animals, one of two major fundraisers the shelter holds each year.

And like so many years, the need has never been so acute. Currently, the no-kill shelter has 138 cats and 28 dogs, pushing the limits of what the building was intended to house.

Email newsletter signup

All the funds raised from the walk, as from the annual Pasta Dinner in February, go toward vet bills, which includes treating ailments, shots, spaying and neutering.

“The No. 1 expense here are the vet bills,” said volunteer Kelly Rush Wednesday morning as cats skittered and sauntered past. “No animal is released until they are spade and neutered.”

While the shelter is intent on making sure these animals reach a loving home, they are also emphatic about making sure they are adopted as healthy animals.

And that’s where the bills can pile up. The Mower County Humane Society is 100 percent relian on donations as medical bills can get rather high, adoption fees stay at $50 for cats and $125 for dogs.

The Mower County Humane Society’s Barry Rush holds Roger, a recent addition to the shelter. Sunday’s Walk for Animals raises money that goes directly to helping care for the animals. Photos by Eric Johnson/

That means the Humane Society takes a monetary loss for each animal.

“We’re taking a loss, but it’s not our goal to make money,” Rush said. “Our goal is is to find pets homes.”

Another volunteer, Barry Rush agreed.

“Our goal is to put ourselves out of business,” he said, highlighting the goal of finding homes for all the pets they harbor.

That gets difficult when the shelter has a policy
of rarely turning animals away which can contribute to why expenses
can get so high. The society will take pets with health issues, injuries and from situations harmful to pet.

“That’s why the vet bills are our No. 1 expense,” Barry said.

And that’s why Sunday’s event and others like it are so important especially in the face of numbers like the $120,000 in operating funds the shelter accumulated last year.

“Technically, this is the largest fundraiser,” Kelly said.

This year’s walk will begin at 1 p.m. with the registration at Mill Pond Park. The walk itself will begin at 2 p.m. There will be prize drawings, hot dogs and chips and refreshments.

Those making $50 pledges receive a Mower County Humane Society short sleeve T-shirt, a $150 pledge is worth a MCHS long-sleeve shirt and a $200 pledge earns a quarter zip wind shirt.

For more information call 1-507-437-9262 and for more about the Mower County Humane Society visit

Spay, neuter clinic Nov. 10

The next visit from the MNSNAP will be on Friday, Nov. 10, here at the Mower County Humane Society. In order to participate, the owner of the cat or dog must have an income less than $45,000 if single or $60,000 if married.

The cost for a cat neuter is $40, for a cat spay it’s $50.

The cost for a dog neuter or spay is $50 if the animal weighs less than 50 pounds. If the dog is over 50 pounds the cost is $70.

This group also offers shots for $10 each for anyone who has their pet spayed/neutered.

To sign up, go to