April Hemphill, Pratt District Director of Pratt Humane, is grateful these days. Not only is a new HVAC system coming soon that will keep the air fresh and smelling good at the facility at 10233 Bluestem Blvd, Pratt, but donations and grants are pouring in to help provide support for dogs and cats in need of care in the area.
“We are very grateful to receive $12,500 in grants from People’s Heartland Foundation and People’s Bank staff,” Hemphill said. “This is the first year I’ve heard of this, and it’s been great to remember and think of it in this way. I’m very, very grateful.”
Hemphill said seven People’s Bank employees donated gifts to the Public Health Care Authority, all of which came at a time when the HVAC unit really needed some work.
“There was a condensing unit leaking into broken lines in the ceiling and it just caused an unhealthy situation here,” Hemphill said. “Because of these recent donations, we are now able to solve this problem, eliminate allergens, and create a happier, healthier place for the people and animals that come from here.”
With the ever-changing dog and cat head count at the local, Pratt-owned humane community and is powered mostly by donations and fundraisers, Hemphill said she’s also grateful for the many other fundraising and fundraising activities that have been completed in the past month, or are even continuing November and December.
Pratt Community College hosted a PAHS Day at the Lesh Arena on Saturday, where fans can bring pet supplies and food for free admission to basketball games.
“We had a table in the hallway, with some dogs available for adoption,” Hemphill said. “It was a fun day, and we are always in need of pet food and supplies.”
Hemphill said PAHS has a food contract with a vet-recommended brand of dog food, which they stick to, but mixing the donated food with standard feed helps it last longer, without upsetting tummies too much due to dietary changes between brands. However, cleaning supplies and cat litter are more needed.
“We go through a lot of cat litter,” Hemphill said. “Fundraisers are a big part of paying for these kinds of things.”
For Halloween, PAHS had a 50/50 raffle and opening party, and the community brought in $127, plus loads of fun photos of animals in costumes. Another fundraiser is planned for Friday, December 3rd called Bow-Wow Bingo, where subscription cards will be available for $15 per 9 bingo games. Candy cards for kids will also be available for free. The Bow-Wow Bingo event is scheduled for 6-9pm at the Pratt Public Library, a convenient place to end up after the Pratt art and music walk from 5-8pm on the same day.
“We’ll give out chili and cinnamon rolls and play bingo for cash prizes,” Hemphill said. “There will be no cats or dogs on hand, but all the money raised will go towards their daily needs and expenses here at Pratt.”
Hemphill said current dog and cat numbers hover at 14 dogs and 10 cats, even with several recent visits and adoptions.
“Our current average residence per animal is about three months, which is much longer than those in larger cities or higher population centers,” she said. “We are happy to keep the animals moving and out in public because finding good homes for them is always our top priority.”
However, another priority is keeping the animals happy and healthy while they remain at the Pratt facility when they need care.
“We are very grateful to be able to recently provide a $2,000 grant from the South Central Community Foundation for Animal Fertilization here,” Hemphill said. “We will build a cat patio outside that will connect with our existing cat room and allow the cats to come in and out to get some sunlight and experience some needed space.”
Hemphill said the new room will be about half the size of the existing catroom and have a private cat door from inside the facility to the patio on the north side of the building.
“Once again, we are very grateful for the community support, grants, and donations that have come in in the past few weeks,” Hemphill said. “I am grateful that people have recognized what we are doing here and are willing to continue supporting us.”
Angle Tree listing pets’ needs will be placed in the front lobby of the Pratt Area Humane Society where people can fill out cards for specific donations at the beginning of December. PAHS maintains an updated website with animals available for adoption, as well as posts regular Facebook posts about needs, availability, volunteers and hours of operation.