All paws on deck: Humane Society seeks volunteers, donors to help animals


JENNY NGUYEN A caretaker hugs Oreo Wednesday, Jan. 17. Oreo doesn’t do well around other cats and has been at the Brookings Regional Humane Society for quite some time. The Brookings Regional Humane Society is located at 120 W Second St S, Brookings, SD 57006.

Gabby Premus

The Brookings Regional Humane Society wouldn’t be here without the Brookings community.

Last November, the people of Brookings stepped up to assist the Humane Society during a financial crisis. Enough money was raised to make it to its next and largest event.

Paws for Wine is 7 to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Swiftel Center. There will be wine tasting, hor d’oeuvres, live music by Plum Crazy and a silent auction. All proceeds will go to the Humane Society and be matched by a local anonymous donor.

The Humane Society is focused on helping the animals the best they can, but they need the help of volunteers.
An estimated 1,700 people volunteered their time in 2017.

Volunteering can give South Dakota State University students not only gratification, but help with other issues such as stress and depression.

“I suffer from depression and coming here makes me so happy,” volunteer Sal Becirovic said. “Helping and caring for the animals in this atmosphere helps me stay more positive. I truly love this place and I suggest everyone to spend some time here.”

The shelter cares for anywhere from 30 to 50 animals at a time. There is no telling how long it will take for a pet to be adopted, but the younger animals are usually the first to go.

Lacey is a 7-year-old Cocker Spaniel who is new to the Brookings Humane Society. She was brought in earlier this month, by her owners who could no longer care for her.

“Lacey is one of the sweetest dogs we have and the strongest,” said Maia Moore, executive director of the Brookings Regional Humane Society. “All of our animals are great, but Lacey stands out.”

She has several untreated infections, is heartworm positive and will lose her left eye due to the worms. Moore said that throughout all of Lacey’s treatment she has kept a happy attitude and is friendly with other dogs and visitors.

Every animal is spayed or neutered and given the necessary treatments before being cleared for adoption. For Lacey, the Humane Society is working out a plan for her to get the surgery and medication she needs, but the cost is high.

“We love getting supplies donated to us, but supplies can’t pay for the expensive treatments some animals need,” Moore said.

Lacey has a long recovery ahead of her, but when she is healed and healthy she will be put up for adoption.

Oreo, a domestic short hair, is one of the quietest cats at the humane society. He is six years old and known to be the perfect lap cat.

“He would be a perfect emotional support animal,” said Administrative Assistant Rhonda Vostad. “His favorite thing to do is curl up and snuggle, just what a stressed student would need after a long day.”

Since Oreo was surrendered from animal control, there is not much background information on him. He is shy with other cats, but has a couple “roommates” he gets along with. Because of this, Vostad suggested that he would do best in a quiet one-pet home.

“We try to keep all animals happy and healthy,” Moore said. “We go by our mission statement: to shelter, to protect, to educate and to promote.”