The Drumheller & District Humane Society found itself in a bit of a catch-22 earlier this year. The group needed to raise money and wanted to apply for grants, but couldn't afford to hire anyone to help out.
"I know there are grants out there that we can apply for [but] it's a lot of work and the volunteers that we have already now are strapped for time as it is," explained Kelcy Travis, President of the Humane Society. "When you have so many animals coming in you really don't have any extra time. Now, we do have another person looking into those grants."
The new employee was hired through MH Enterprises, who paid a part of her wages initially.
"In the past, we tried running on volunteers alone but the centre didn't stay open to the public," Travis elaborated. "Four years ago or five years ago, they had tried relying on volunteers alone [but] they weren't able to keep the shelter open."
Travis said the organization now has two employees -- Deb and Mariah -- who can focus on the day-to-day operations of the shelter, while also applying for provincial and federal grants. The group has their eye on two grants in particular: the first is a federal grant which would match funds to allow the Humane Society to build a new shelter. The second is a grant to for spay and neuter clinics. With or without the grant, Travis hopes to do low-income spay and neuter clinics in the future.
"It's so busy there, literally from the time the door opens to the time the door closes. So, having a second person has made a huge difference," admitted Travis. "Deb can focus on other things and we definitely needed a second employee so it was good that we were able to work with MH Enterprises, that helped us too."