Every year Quicken Loans sponsors a table at the annual Bow Wow Brunch- a charity event that benefits the Michigan Humane Society. This weekend was their 21st annual brunch - held at the Ritz Carleton in Dearborn – and I was honored to represent the company, along with several others, for a cause that is close to my heart. Several local personalities were on hand to lend their fund-raising celebrity to the function, while silent and live auctions also raised money for the nonprofit. Especially enticing for the pet lovers in attendance were the sweet kittens and pups that graced the foyer, auditioning for new homes.
The auctions featured items donated by local businesses, craftspeople, and artists, as well as some specialty experiences, such a private breakfast with the giraffes in the Detroit Zoo, and also a thrilling ride with GM's Vice Chairman Bob Lutz aboard his private J-39 Soviet jet.
I have a dog from MHS, who was surrendered to the Huron Valley branch at the age of 3 weeks, barely responsive and suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, and urine burns on his paws from unclean conditions. A foster care provider working with the shelter nursed him back to health with lots of care and attention from her family. When I took him home at 9 weeks, he was happy and healthy and loving, and instantly fit right in with my other pets. He's been a loved and valued member of my household ever since. Because of him - and because every animal in my home was once in the care of a Humane Society - I feel indebted to MHS. (See comment in epilogue for correction! MHS is NOT affiliated with HVHS.) I was very happy to be able to attend and contribute, and was very pleased with what I heard during presentations at the brunch.
For instance, MHS can proudly state that their aggressive cat neutering initiatives meant not a single healthy cat was euthanized last year. Also, their cat adoption campaign for Certified Pre-Owned Cats received national accolades and has been emulated by other Humane Societies throughout the nation.
Nothing in the world of pets makes me more sad than seeing adult dogs and cats in the shelter. I just think of how these once-loved pets have been surrendered and are now in "jail" for no fault of their own. And my heart breaks for the thought that they will not be adopted because most people of course want the babies. Just looking at those abandoned pets puts me in tears.
That's why I was especially happy to hear of an initiative called Keeping Families Together. To help families who have come upon financial hardship, this program provides several resources - including food and medical assistance - to help struggling households with pet care expenses. To me, this is a truly innovative program that treats at least one cause of pet abandonment right at the source by giving aid to pets and families in need.
Another initiative I was pleased to hear about was the Humane Education programthat teaches nearly 10,000 Detroit area students about respect for animals and responsible animal care through age-appropriate presentations and shelter tours. The children in these programs also experience the reward of giving to the animals through fund-raising drives and making kitty forts and fleece blankets for pets in the care of MHS.
All in all, I was very proud to attend and contribute to this year's Bow Bow Brunch, and I would encourage every animal lover to give to their local Humane Society so we can build a kinder future for those furry members of our communities who have no voice by providing education and assistance for pet owners, as well as care and placement assistance for needy animals.
Comments are currently broken on our blog, but wanted to share this message I got:
"I have a dog from MHS, who was surrendered to the Huron Valley branch at the age of 3 weeks, barely responsive and suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, and urine burns on his paws from unclean conditions." Sparks was a dear little dog who the staff and volunteers at the Humane Society of Huron Valley nursed back to health before you generously adopted him. We are so glad you cared and gave him a home. Thank you. I do need to point out however, that his care was in no way helped by any donations given to the Michigan Humane Society. Please make sure that you and everyone else in the State of Michigan is aware that all humane societies are completely independent. We receive no funding from the Michigan Humane Society. They service Wayne and Oakland county. The Humane Society of Huron Valley services Washtenaw County, Plymouth and Canton. So many people think that a gift to Michigan Humane is a gift to their local shelter and that is not true. It's very important that people understand that if they wish to help homeless animals in their own communities that they donate to the local humane society. Thank you again for adopting that dear little dog that we all knew as Sparks. Best wishes to you and your family.
Thank you, Debra! This is news to me. After talking with many people, it seems the belief that MHS is an umbrella group for all state Humane Societies is a common misconception. Happy to help dispel it! Thanks so much for letting us know that Humane Socieites operate independently. Just so you know, I do live in Detroit now, though was formerly in Ann Arbor, so MHS would be my current local community. And I certainly understand your desire to share this distinction. By the way, Sparky is now named "Gooch" and we love him to pieces! Thanks for remembering him!