Leaders of People for Animal Welfare – Humane Society of Northeast Iowa have announced the start of a 12-month information and education program to promote awareness of the organization's plans to construct and operate an animal rescue shelter that will serve communities in the five northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.
Encouraged by data compiled through a two-month feasibility study conducted by the Steier Group, an Omaha-based firm that provides services for nonprofit organizations, the local PAW group will go forward with its plans to create the regional animal shelter. Results of the study indicate more than 90 percent of the residents of the five-county region feel the shelter is needed and said they would support a capital campaign to provide the funding to build and operate the facility.
"We were pleased to learn that the need for an animal rescue shelter is recognized by people in all the communities served by PAW, and that 94 percent responded that they would support a capital campaign to raise the necessary funding," said Virginia Gibbs, PAW President.
Gibbs said the Steier firm recommended the next step should be a one-year program to provide people in the area with a better understanding of the need for an animal rescue shelter and its purpose, services, design, facilities and equipment, operation and staffing. The goal of the PAW education and information program is to create a broad base of supporters who will participate in the project.
The April-May study showed that the respondents' average rating of the need for the animal shelter was 2.8 on a scale of 1 to 3. About 67 percent of survey respondents said they were "familiar with" to "very well informed about" the organization's plans to build and operate a permanent animal rescue shelter.
Over the next 12 months, PAW leaders hope to create greater awareness of the ongoing need for animal rescue services. They will meet with and provide information to individuals, community groups, civic service organizations and government organizations with the goal of building even greater public support and financial commitments to the project.
The PAW group will also explore ways to reduce some of the costs of the shelter in response to the current economic situation. When that information is made available to key people, organizations and the public, PAW hopes to conduct a comprehensive capital campaign in 2011.
PAW is seeking volunteers to help with the 12-month planning and information phase of the project, especially community people who have experience in grant proposal writing, facilitating cooperative projects among government, non-government and civic service organizations, and fund-raising.
Anyone interested in helping PAW move forward with the animal rescue shelter project should contact either Virginia Gibbs at 563-382-9304, firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Halverson at 563-382-5385, email@example.com.