HUDSON — Columbia-Greene Humane Society has been deeply affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, President and CEO Ron Perez said Tuesday.

In addition to the funding decrease at the shelter, the Humane Society has also been under growing pressure to help more animals than at any time in its 65-year history, Perez said.

“Our budget has been hit very hard this year,” Perez said.

The Humane Society is looking for the public’s help to get through the winter.

A friend and lifelong supporter of Columbia-Greene Humane Society has offered a challenge to the animal lovers everywhere: If the shelter can raise $10,000 to support the Pet Food Bank and the low-cost veterinary clinic, the anonymous donor will match it, Perez said.

The catch is that the money needs to be raised by Dec. 31.

The shelter’s free Pet Food Bank is on track to donate nearly 40,000 pounds of food this year and its low-cost veterinary clinic has seen a dramatic increase in requests for inexpensive medical treatment for pets, Perez said.

The need for the shelter’s services has increased by 25% this year, while income has dropped by nearly 40%, Perez said.

“We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in people boarding their pets this year. They’re not traveling, and many are not working, so there’s no need to board the pets,” Perez said.

The Humane Society’s boarding service is normally a dominant source of income for the shelter, Perez said.

The shelter has also seen an increase of nearly 1,000 more pets move through its doors this year.

The shelter is working hard to not make more cuts if possible, Perez said.

In September the Humane Society closed its lobby for adoptions on Sunday and Monday.

It’s believed that most of the new requests for animal food and services is due to an increased number of people being unemployed or furloughed, Perez said.

“Although our budget has been stretched thinner than ever before in our history, I’m proud of the fact that we have met the needs of every animal that found their way to our doorstep,” Perez said.

The shelter has about 50 pets available for adoption at this time. The donation match will provide food and essential medicine for animals that are most in need through the winter months, Perez said.

To donate, please mail checks to CGHS/SPCA Challenge, 111 Humane Society Road, Hudson, NY, 12534, or visit the Humane Society website to donate online at cghs.org.

The shelter is always in need of pet food for their pet food bank, especially dry cat food. Donations may be brought to the shelter seven days a week, Perez said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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