In 2001, a local family experienced the unimaginable — their 18-year-old daughter was killed in a tragic car accident just weeks before graduating from high school. Tammy and Dave Kight were friends of the family and attended the girl’s funeral. It was there they first heard about the Walk for Animals. The girl’s parents were participating in the Walk that year in honor of their daughter. Tammy and Dave asked to contribute to their fundraising efforts and made their first donation to Animal Humane Society. That was the beginning of a tradition for the Kight family.
The following year, Tammy and Dave participated in their first Walk for Animals. They shared their experience with their family and the next year a few of Tammy’s sisters joined them at the Walk. Since 2002 they have walked every year and it has grown into a full family affair. “It’s like a big open house,” says Tammy. “Our family comes from out of town and we make a whole weekend out of it!”
In addition to their family, Tammy and Dave are also joined at the Walk by their four dogs — miniature pinschers Kirby and Durango, and Jack Russell terriers Rudy and Cassidy. “It’s just such a rewarding thing for us,” says Tammy. “I can’t imagine what it would be like without Animal Humane Society helping so many animals, so it’s important for us to do what we can to help.”
Learn more about all the exciting things happening at this year’s Walk for Animals. Special thanks to our 2012 Walk for Animals sponsors: Fox 9, Cities 97, Radio Disney, My 29, Crave, Subaru, Cub Foods, Health Partners, and Lavender Magazine.
Volunteer opportunities for the Walk for Animals
It takes nearly 500 volunteers working alongside Animal Humane Society staff to put on the annual Walk for Animals. Help us continue our work for homeless and neglected animals by volunteering your time as an individual or as a group on Saturday, May 5. In addition to having fun and getting that warm-fuzzy feeling from helping a great cause, volunteers also receive a 2012 Walk for Animals T-shirt! Learn more about Walk for Animals volunteer opportunities.
Gracie and Smitty were among the 107 dogs and two cats rescued from the crowded and filthy conditions of two mobile homes near Bemidji earlier this year. Just a few months later, four-year-old Gracie and 10-year-old Smitty are settling into their new homes and quickly discovering how great a dog’s life can be!
Gracie is living with her new owner, Sue, and three special needs adults. The tan and white spaniel mix was just what the family needed — she loves everyone and knows exactly when it’s time to hop up on your lap and give kisses.
Cookie, a care provider working with Sue’s family, met Gracie and decided she could also give one of the rescued dogs a home. She adopted Smitty, a white spaniel mix dog. Smitty is a little more timid than Gracie, but whenever he comes to work with Cookie he is enthusiastic to greet his new friends.
Although they once lived a grim life, these dogs have a bright future and are bringing joy to those around them. Our commitment to animals starts with safe refuge and care, but it is carried on by so many others — rescue partners who provide assistance for special cases, adopters like Sue and Cookie who provide loving homes, and generous donors who make it possible for us to continue our work.
As temperatures rise, so do the numbers of cats and kittens coming into shelters, including Animal Humane Society. This year’s rare mild winter and warm spring gives felines the opportunity to get an early start on breeding.
While the spring season always brings in a higher number of animals, staff and volunteers are anticipating this year to be busier than usual. “After a typical cold winter, we would normally see our adoption centers filling up with kittens in June,” says Lynn Hartman, vet tech supervisor at Animal Humane Society. “This year we’re already seeing a few pregnant cats coming in and will likely see the adoption centers filling with kittens as early as May.”
Cats and kittens are the largest need within our foster program, although we also have foster needs for dogs, guinea pigs and more. And this year, our expectation of more cats and kittens mean our need for foster volunteers is greater than ever. A very common foster situation is when newborn kittens arrive at Animal Humane Society too young for adoption and need special care and socialization during their first few weeks of life. Foster volunteers commit to keeping a mother cat and her kittens or just a litter of orphaned kittens at their home while the kittens nurse and gain weight. Once they are weaned and are big enough for adoption, they are returned to the shelter for spay/neuter surgery before making their way to the adoption center.
Animal Humane Society provides the supplies needed to care for the animals while they are in volunteer homes. Volunteers will need to bring the kittens into the shelter for vaccinations and check-ups during the fostering period. Foster volunteers are needed for all five Animal Humane Society sites. Click here to learn more about becoming a foster volunteer and to fill out an application.