Will County Humane Society kennel manager Malorie Ernst (center) was on hand with Rocco to accept the donation from Forest Preserve Board President Joe VanDuyne (right) and Forest Preserve Chief Operating Officer Ralph Schultz. (Photo by Chad Merda)
The Forest Preserve District’s Board “paw-sed” its meeting on March 11 to make time for a doggy donation to the Will County Humane Society.
Sales of the District’s 2021 Dog Park Calendar raised almost $6,000 for the humane society, a repeat of 2020 calendar sales, which raised a similar amount. The calendar featured photos of preserve patrons’ pups frolicking in the District’s six dog parks as well as information on the humane society and its adoptable dogs and financial need.
“The collaborative project highlighted how much fun the Forest Preserve’s off-leash dog parks provide for canines and their owners year-round,” said Forest Preserve Board President Joe VanDuyne. “But it also detailed the important work the humane society does to help homeless animals.”
Each calendar sold raised $10 for the shelter, which receives no government funding and relies on donations alone. Malorie Ernst, the humane society’s kennel manager accepted the check. She said the calendars are "amazing" because they publicize the plight of the pets waiting for homes.
"So, we really do appreciate it and we thank you guys very much," Ernst said.
Ernst was accompanied by Rocco, a 3-year-old Icelandic sheepdog/shepherd mix, that is available for adoption at the Shorewood-based shelter. Rocco arrived at the humane society with old injuries, which has given him a slightly tilted snout.
“He’s got a crooked, cute little face that I think is endearing,” Ernst said. “And he has old trauma that wasn’t quite repaired the way it should have been.”
The humane society gave him the medical and dental care he needed and now he is a love bug who curls up in laps and gives puppy kisses.
“He’s just this loving, happy guy looking for a home,” Ernst said.
And Rocco is a perfect example of what the humane society does, she added.
“It’s not just a matter of taking in dogs and adopting them out. It’s bringing them in, kind of figuring out what their needs are, both physically and mentally, and properly placing them where they will thrive and not have the (not very) ideal paths that they came from.”
On a happy note, Lollipop, a humane society dog featured in the 2021 calendar, was subsequently adopted. The young hound mix had been dumped at a high-kill shelter in Kentucky and was rescued by volunteers and taken in by the humane society, which treated several illnesses including heartworm.
The humane society is the oldest no-kill shelter in Will County and it has been serving the area for 40 years. For more information on the shelter, visit the humane society’s website.
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