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Kay C.
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Rating: 5

Most deserving shelter

posted 5 years ago

My personal history with the Central MO Humane Society goes clear back to the 60's when a group of my fellow graduate students at MU, mostly in the English Department, were horrified by what passed as a Humane Society in Columbia. I won't go into details here, but trust me, it was a nightmare. So they hounded the people listed as board members into getting a copy of the by-laws, started going to board meetings, got themselves appointed to the board, and the first legitimate Humane Society in Columbia emerged, which included an activist mission of educating the community about humane issues, laws, and responsible pet ownership. I was a core volunteer, serving for fifteen years on the Education Committee. I hosted a weekly radio show on the local Community Radio Station. We started and continued for many years a 4th grade education program, having learned that that was the best age to start teaching kids about responsible pet ownership. We sponsored a very popular annual cat show for several years. We started a low cost spay and neuter program at the Shelter. We got an ordinance passed forbidding the sale of exotic animals within the city limits, including the ubiquitous Easter Ducklings, Chicks, and Bunnies. Over the years, the rates of spays and neuters went up, and the deluge of surrendered animals was lessened, albeit ever so slightly. Then we got a grant to build the current shelter, sometime in the early 70's. I was there at the ground breaking. So was Dr. Michael Fox! It was so exciting. And that is the building still serving as the shelter, almost 40 years later. In the meantime the Central MO human population has exploded, creating that many more animals to deal with, and the Shelter has also made an effort to cooperate with the no-kill movement, putting even more stress on its limited space, which they have made a good effort to deal with by using foster homes. Also, however, the animal control support from the City and the County, who share the shelter space, has stagnated. It was never adequate to begin with, and now it is shamefully inadequate. But the folks at the CMHS soldier on, and the current staff and board appear to be thinking creatively about generating more revenue through higher licensing fees that reward responsible pet owners, and striking agreements with the surrounding counties, all of whom use the CMHS as their humane society, essentially free of charge. I personally donate as much as I can afford, and wish I could give more. This shelter is most deserving of the Million Dollar Makeover prize, and I urge anyone reading this to share their own history and experience with the Shelter, to help make that happen.

Pros: Longstanding history of struggle to maintain best standards and practices

Cons: space totally outgrown, inadequate financial support from city and county, and surrounding counties

49 of 49 people found this review helpful.

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Lara S.
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Rating: 5

Excellent!

posted 6 years ago

Okay, I work at this shelter, and for what we have (resource-wise) we are doing pretty well. I am not supporting the intake fee, but we need to do what we need to do, and if our leaders thing we need that, then that is that. I've worked there for 6 years in July, and I think this is a great place. Of course, we have a lot of unhappy clients, but we have a lot of happy ones to balance that out. Unfortunately you only hear about the unhappy ones.

We place animals in homes we think are doing the animals justice and that they will live comfortable, stable and secure lives. We do refuse to adopt to those that feel differently. How people keep animals is deeply ingrained in how you were raised, but I hope that when we do "turn people down" they take our advice and educate themselves about what is the more humane way to care for an animal. They aren't "banned forever" or something awful, we just want to make sure they have made the necessary adjustments to caring for a new pet.

Anyway, this place is a GOOD place and we are trying to survive at this point. Please check out our petfinder site (my job :)!) at www.cmhs.petfinder.com. Thanks for listening!!!

Pros: can bring animals in from 8-5, 7 days a week, great adoption staff

Cons: costs $20 to drop off an animal-they are in dire need of funds

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.

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Megan B.
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Rating: 5

Hometown establishment

posted 5 years ago

The staff makes CMHS shine. The facility is grossly inadaquate for the number of pets CMHS serves (and the number of people). On any given day, the CMHS lobby is filled with 20-50 people, several stray dogs, a few boxes/buckets/carriers full of cats, and an occasional bird, rabbit, trapped possum, etc. Because CMHS serves so many counties (they're one of the only open door shelters in Missouri!), they are always helping someone with something- whether it be an important medical question answered over the phone, someone relinquishing a pet, convincing someone who breeds dogs to spay/neuter their animals, cleaning cages for over 150 animals, or planning/expanding fundraising, foster care, or adoptions programs. The facility is old. Things appear run down. The facility is plagued by a constant stream of items in disrepair- first it's the washer, then a dryer, then the pipes back up and the shelter almost floods. This is not due to a lack of effort by the staff, directors, or community... but due to a true lack of funding. The shelter serves so many people and intakes over 9,000 animals per year. The inefficiency of the old building leads to so many problems that constantly distract staff from their mission to prevent animal cruelty, provide humane education, and to place animals in forever homes.

Pros: location, accessable staff, friendly staff, lots of animals

Cons: crowded, short staffed, overflowing with animals- they have to keep some in back rooms

27 of 28 people found this review helpful.

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christina p.
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Rating: 5

Caring staff

posted 5 years ago

""One of the best measures of a civilized society is not in how the greatest citizens are treated, but in the treatment of the least powerful."

People will think about animal shelters and scoff, saying 'but there are people out there who need help!'.

Discarded, abused, and neglected animals are one of the signs a society suffering under both educational and financial stress.

A good shelter takes animals from situations where they were otherwise homeless or living with someone that can no longer care for them, either due to age, ability, or loss of financial resources.

Abused animals are signs of both mentally and emotionally unhealthy persons.

As well, people with the best of intentions take in animals and then become over-whelmed by what it really takes to provide proper care. A good animal shelter helps rescue the animals and unburden people from such situations.

While the stressors of a society should not be ignored, animal shelters are still necessary as no living being's basic needs should be ignored. Whatsmore, homeless, feral animals could be a danger to domesticated animals.

With the limited resources that this shelter has, I feel they do their best to meet the needs of caring, living creatures in a society that does not understand what really goes into properly caring for animals. They take in animals from parents believing their child *really* will care for the pet by themselves after they tire of the intial amusement wears off...people not understanding the importance of spaying/neutering your pets...and sick individuals that feel animal abuse is acceptable.

Therefore I believe this shelter that serves a number of towns, individuals, and deserving animals deserves a greater amount of support than it receives!

Pros: They care about what they do

Cons: They definitely need more community support

22 of 21 people found this review helpful.

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Ccmedic74
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Rating: 5

Outstanding Group of People!

posted 5 years ago

I have to say that my interactions with the CMHS were not immediate. I have lived in the area for more than 5 years and, until a year and a half ago, had never set foot inside the facility.

My wife had adopted previously from the facility and had nothing but praise for the wonderful staff and how well they care for the animals they take in. She told me how she walked into the building and telling them her needs. She filled out an information sheet and they staff took it from there. In combination with her great words and my affinity to wanting another dog we decided to check out what the CMHS had to offer.

Our search started with me wanting a "big" dog. My wife brought two smaller dogs into our family (a beagle and a miniature schnauzer) with the beagle being the one adopted previously. As I entered the doors I noticed a small counter with staff behind ready to welcome us. We told them we were just there to look and they directed us to the kennel area. I already had in mind that I wanted a Labrador and didn't really care what color. We looked at several dogs who just melted my heart with sadness and joy at the same time. I received grief later from my wife who couldn't resist saying "I told you so!" She did this because I was previously all rugged and gruff in thinking I could just walk in and out with a dog and have no emotions showing in regards to the other possible adoptive pets; I was WAY wrong.

Our first visit we saw several dogs that interested us, but eventually saw a set of 4 month old black lab puppies. We liked them both, and didn't really know which one we liked more. We talked with a staff member who asked if we wanted to take them outside for some "alone" time. Since we weren't sure which one we liked, we opted not to since we didn't want to spend time with just one of them. So, we left and talked about it for a few days. In that same visit I had time to talk with one of the volunteers who filled me into the operations of the CMHS. I was told that their operational budget was certainly not large especially since they take care of almost 6,000 pets per year! I was then advised of how they mostly run on donations since they only receive a little less than $100,000/yr from the city. I was simply floored but absolutely astounded at how much these people do with so little! This certainly solidified my thoughts into getting our next pet from the CMHS.

When we decided on which puppy we wanted, we came back three days later and to our dismay...both puppies had been adopted! Where as I was overjoyed that these dogs had been adopted into great homes, I was disappointed that one was not for me. Nevertheless, we continued steadfast and remained open minded. We filled out an adoption application to have on file with information about our pets, home, and what plans we had for our possible addition. We continued our search over the next several weeks and we finally found our latest dog, Jasper, who was (at the time) also a 4 month old black lab.

Jasper has provided a lot of great joy in our family. His energy has certainly rubbed off on the other two dogs who are 7 years his senior. He loves to play, walk, and just be a dog. Through the efforts of the CMHS and our desire to adopt a pet into a good home we found a perfect match. My wife and I have had many wonderful moments with him and can't wait to see what the next several years will bring!

Pros: Staff who truly love their job and the pets they care for, staff who do so much with so little

Cons: Facilities are in great need of renovation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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