As I was approaching the shelter one day last week the sun was shining and I noticed five dogs running and playing together in our new fenced-in yard.

I stopped my car and watched these beautiful pups interacting. This beautiful green yard is all I could have dreamed of for our shelter. As I sat there watching, I thought of all of those that had made this possible, not only for this group of dogs but for the many yet to come. I thought of the hours I sat at the tax sale to be able to place my bid for the shelter to purchase this property. I thought of the kindness of Phillip Decker for donating the legal work; Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick, who immediately said yes when I asked his help to demolish the structure and clean up the property; David Eicks with the Board of Works, who oversaw the project; Richie Fence Company, which donated the labor for the fence; and our generous board member who donated the material for the fence.

Yes, it certainly was a shared project with such a happy ending.

The 10th annual Fur Ball was a success as a sold-out crowd enjoyed the night dressed in Mardi Gras attire, listening to Rick Vale entertain at the VIP pre-party and dancing the night away to raise $60,000 for our shelter animals. A dedicated committee started planning in March for the October event. Rick Vale, for the 10th year, designed the invitations and posters. He was our guest of honor for the evening.

Our next big event is the 41st annual Christmas Craft and Hobby Show, on Nov. 16 at the Millcreek Civic Center, 403 W. Main St., Chesterfield. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our shelter dogs will be there to greet visitors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa will be available for pictures between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

We have 51 vendors selling baked goods, pottery, clothes, jewelry and handcrafted items. Quack Daddy Donuts will be there to prepare your favorite doughnut for breakfast or throughout the day. Lunch will also be served. This will be a perfect time to start your holiday shopping, see our shelter dogs, and enjoy our baked goods and lunch. All proceeds go to support the care of the homeless animals at the Madison County Humane Society.

We appreciate the kindness of our community and beyond for believing in our mission. Without you, we would not be able to care for the 800-plus cats, dogs, rats and guinea pigs that come through our door. We receive no government or tax funding. Our budget is $350,000 a year. We have a dedicated board of directors that, like myself, do not receive a salary. One hundred percent of donations and fundraising monies go to support our shelter animals. We are blessed with our manager Nikki Moore, who not only manages our shelter but loves every animal that comes through our door.

Susie Schieve, executive director of the Madison County Humane Society, writes a column that appears the first Thursday of each month. She can be reached through sydneyschieve@aol.com or the Humane Society at 2219 Crystal St., Anderson.

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