Strayghetti fundraiser raises money, awareness for Carthage Humane Society

Apr. 22—CARTHAGE, Mo. — A fundraiser held last Saturday aimed at raising awareness as well as money for a local animal shelter that is usually full and always in need of community support.

The Carthage Humane Society held its annual "Strayghetti" dinner and fundraiser with a spaghetti dinner, live entertainment and a silent and live auction.

Nancy Corley, president of the board of directors of the Carthage Humane Society, said the community is generous when the shelter has a crisis, such as January when the roof on a shelter annex started leaking, but the shelter needs more consistent help.

"What we need help on is monthly sponsorships to help defray our operating expenses because right now, if we don't get the citizens of Carthage to step up, we face some really difficult decisions," Corley said. "That's one of the reasons we're hosting Strayghetti; it's not only a fundraiser, it's to help raise awareness in the community. The board and our director, who is Katie Logan, have made a lot of positive improvements to the shelter. We're operating with total transparency, total accountability, and we want to give our animals the best shelter life possible."

Corley said the roof leak from January, which closed a number of kennels that could hold dozens of dogs, was fixed thanks to community donations.

"The community really helped out, the Steadley Trust gave us a generous donation, and then Tim Yates at Range Line Roofing really stepped up for us," Corley said. "We not only repaired the roof, we were able to make electrical repairs and do some other repairs to the buildings."

Corley said monthly costs for the shelter can run about $40,500 in slower times, and $46,000 during puppy and kitten seasons every spring and fall.

"The costs depend on the census," Corley said. "We have 14 to 15 people working out there, depending on the census. And we we have wonderful volunteers, they play with our pets, they walk our dogs, they make sure our dogs get love and exercise, they are absolutely wonderful. This is puppy and kitten season; the more puppies and kittens we have, the more staff we have to have and that means payroll goes from $31,000 or $32,000 to $36,000 or $38,000 because puppies and kittens take a lot more care."

Theresa Nixon, a volunteer with the Humane Society, said she goes to the shelter every day except Saturday when she's with another volunteer, Braden Horst, who takes animals from Carthage to Petsmart in Joplin to try to get them adopted.

"I see dogs that come in that are terrified, their owners have abandoned them," Nixon said. "I see dogs that come in from animal control because their owners kicked them out of their home. I see dogs that need our help so bad. Every dog and cat that comes in we take care of, we do everything we can to get it adopted and we do not have enough money to do what we need. I love animals, and I leave that place crying a lot because I know there's nothing I can do for a particular dog. But I still go out there because I know the dogs that are out there, the ones I was going to take care of that day, won't get out."

How to help To become a monthly sponsor or to volunteer or help in any other way, please call the Carthage Humane Society at 417-358-6492 or at The Humane Society is at 13860 Dog Kennel Lane, between I-49 and Cedar Road south of Carthage.