The Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City recently sent out a plea to the Grand Traverse area for financial help to support their continued operations. Citing a decline in planned giving such as wills, trusts and charitable gift annuities, which make up a bulk of their funding, they have a ambitious goal of raising $500,000. CHS made a similar financial plea in 2011 when they asked for $200,000.
The CHS constructed a new, state of the art facility in 2002. Building pledges were secured to pay off this building. However, subsequent stock market declines and the economic recession led to the majority of these pledges being rescinded. Without their building loan, we would have significantly more money to cover their daily operations. They expect the money that they receive though their current fund raising effort will be used primarily to pay down their building loan and help fund daily operations.
A recent letter to their supporters states that they are not putting the financial burden solely on the Traverse City community. They are in the process of exploring ways to ensure financial stability going forward. This planning includes reducing personnel, restructuring operating hours, better outreach programs through social media, revising their adoption rates and membership dues along with consideration of a spinoff of excess real estate.
When asked about the more than $300,000 that was listed in their 2012 financial report in different accounts as assets, President and Supervising Veterinarian Dr. David Burke, DVM, said that the money is used for operating expenses, the mortgage, utilities and labor.
Burke says that they are trying to be good stewards for the funds that they have available. They have stopped providing health insurance for employees, renegotiated the mortgage and taken other measures but they will always needs donations.
The Humane Society has received $26,422 from Grand Traverse County since June 2013 in payment for boarding the animal control dogs, however Burke was unable to give an amount that their organization spends on taking care of the dogs because those expenses are not recorded separately. He states that the facility, labor, utilities, and staff are are utilized for animal control dogs as well as the Humane Society’s dogs on the other side of the building.
Contributions may be made by mail (CHS, 1750 Ahlberg Rd., Traverse City, MI 49696), in person or online (www. cherrylandhumane.org). If you have additional questions, you can stop by or to call them at (231)946-5116. Mike Cherry, Executive Director, or Dr. David Burke, Board of Directors president, can answer your questions or concerns.