A look at the Charlevoix Area Humane Society

cahs banner

Megan Wilson

Contributing Writer

Perhaps one of the area’s most recognized agencies, the Charlevoix Area Humane Society (CAHS) has been in existence since 1974.

The mission of the CAHS is “To practice and promote the principle that every life is precious. As such, we are committed to the highest principles of humane care and professional treatment of injured, ill, neglected or abused animals.”

“We are a no-kill shelter to adoptable animals, we are an independent, non-profit 501c3 organization with no other affiliates,” said CAHS Director Scott MacKenzie. “To show the strength that we have grown in becoming a no-kill facility over the years, in 2002 449 animals had to be euthanized, in 2014 that number was 29.”

MacKenzie emphasized that the animals that do get put down are because they are a danger to humans or other animals, or those done to end their suffering.

“We are not a county agency, we depend totally on donations and fundraising to garner the funds to achieve our mission,” said MacKenzie. “A good part of our mission is public education and awareness on helping people maintain the health and safety involved in pet ownership, and education on prevention of unwanted and abused and neglected animals through affordable spay and neuter programs.”

For those who are interested in becoming a volunteer at the CAHS, or donating goods and money to the shelter please go to www.charlevoixhumane.org.

“Our yearly budget is about $225,000, which includes staff, care of the animals, medicines for the animals, microchips, that’s why we depend greatly on volunteers,” said MacKenzie. “We do a lot of outreach in the public schools and encourage volunteerism here at the shelter.”

Some of the tasks that volunteers for the shelter may come in and be asked to do are walk dogs, answer phones, greet visitors, help socialize animals, or clean cages, among other things.

“We are housed in a county building, and in exchange for the services we provide, animals that are strays are brought here,” said MacKenzie.

“Depending upon whether the animal has a collar, after a period of days it becomes the property of the CAHS and we then begin the process to adopt the animal out, on average we service over 350 animals a year.”

On average, it costs approximately $200 to get an animal ready for adoption, the adoption fee for dogs is $125.

“Right now we have eight dogs and we’re up to our whiskers in cats and kittens,” said MacKenzie. “We have a free cats for seniors program and we participate in the barn cat program.”

The Charlevoix Area Humane Society holds events throughout the year to fundraise for the organization, the next event to be held is the Charlevoix Shadowfest, Feb. 6 through 8.

For full information on the event please visit www.charlevoixshadowfest.com.

“This year we are having a year-long raffle in which tickets cost $50 and the prize is a trip for two to the 2016 Super Bowl in San Francisco, as well as a four night stay,” said MacKenzie.

“Tickets for the raffle can be bought at the CAHS building, from board members, and will be sold at area events.”

“For someone who’s never had a pet there’s an amazing emotional and unconditional loving bond that they are missing out on,” said MacKenzie. “For those who have had pets they know how important that relationship is, that is something the CAHS is really proud to facilitate, the bond between humans and the deserving animals in need.”

The animal shelter is located at 614 Beardsley St. in Boyne City.

It can be reached by calling (231) 582-6774.

Shelter Hours

Visit the Charlevoix Area Humane Society animal shelter during the following hours:

Monday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Noon – 6 p.m

Wednesday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Thursday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Friday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Saturday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Sunday: Closed

Or by appointment.

Is there a charitable organization you would like to see considered to be featured for the Boyne City Gazette’s Gazette Givers program?

Contact the Boyne City Gazette by e-mail at editor@boynegazette.com or call (231) 582-2799.