You’ve heard the saying. Change is the only thing that stays the same. And for many rescues and shelters across our country, change can be a good thing. Such is the case at the Cherryland Humane Society located in Traverse City, Michigan. We can feel the love…the sweetness of course like Michigan cherries. Yes, we just had to say it!
We started off our visit at the Cherryland Humane Society by speaking with Heidi Yates, the shelter’s kind Executive Director. She immediately made us feel at home and welcome, and we were excited to see how she ran this temporary home for the rescued animals in the community. We were able to speak about the needs of their hometown, and why many of the animals in their care ended up here. As there is no animal control in the area, the Cherryland Humane Society serves this need too. So not only do they handle owner surrenders and confiscation cases, but they handle the stray animals in the area as well.
Heidi related to us an example of how their day was going. Just that morning, they had received a call regarding an injured animal. Although this would not be something required of them, a staff member ran to help! They do it “all” and their “all” never ends. They related the many stories they told us of abuse cases, or owners that had fell on hard times, but were confident that these animals would have a happy ending. And we could see that the animals in their care WERE happy. Yes, they were at a shelter, but the signs of stress that normally can be seen with shelter animals were not apparent here. From the many volunteers coming to walk the dogs, to the volunteers simply spending time with the animals, we could feel the changes happening at Cherryland Humane Society with Heidi, their focused Director. We asked Heidi, Liz, Kelsey and Laurel to join us in the latest episode of “Stop Hounding Me” and were joined by Bear who has been a resident at their shelter for so long! He is a great dog, and we think you may think he too is as sweet as cherries.
It’s the small details that make a house a home. And here, the details that have been put in place impressed us. From the small store of animal supplies, to the library filled with books to help new pet parents, they have put in the love. Among the changes happening are a new lobby that will be even more welcoming and beautiful.
It takes time to make changes, and Heidi, her staff and the board of directors have spent countless hours and time implementing changes ALL for the benefit of their animals.
Every animal that we met on our tour had a story, and the staff knew every single one. This says a lot to us. They not only took the time to personally invest in these animals, but because of their genuine interest, they can place them in the correct, forever home.
Heidi told us with much emotion that the community here is so supportive of their shelter. Even children volunteer time and money to “their” shelter. We heard of children making posters and distributing them thoughout their town. One gentleman saw a poster and knew the cat for him was at Cherryland Humane Society. He told the staff that this was “his cat” and he would do anything to adopt. He was approved and was coming the day we were there to get his new furkid. The staff told us that the love from children like this gives them chills. We have to admit, we got some chills too…
They hold adoption events regularly, and often work with local stores to network their adoptables. They have a dedicated volunteer network that serve as hosts each day to greet prospective adopters,do numerous jobs around the shelter and give of themselves so unselfishly. They have veterinarians, traditional and holistic, that give of their time and expertise, simply invaluable to this shelter.
Animal rescue is not a glamorous job. Countless hours, even doing loads and loads of laundry each day are the things that go into their job! Many of us don’t think of these things when we visit a shelter. We see the animals, yes. But how are they cared for? Who care FOR them? These are the people, and they are the heart and soul of each life that is saved.
Cherryland Humane Society is very needed in their community and beyond. Besides needing volunteers, they always are in need of supplies, putting out pleas periodically on their Facebook page. WE think they need a new washer and dryer. So if you are looking to make a difference for a SHELTER that makes a difference, consider donating, of course adopting, or simply sharing the animals to your social media channels from their website.
Every rescue, shelter or organization that we pick for our Adventure Of A Lifetime is important. These are the people that save the animals you see everyday on your Facebook timeline. These are the people that made a difference possibly for YOUR furkid. It is our hopes that the folks across our country like those at Cherryland Humane Society get some recognition they deserve. Because yes, they are sweet like cherries.
Again, change is the only thing that stays the same. If your local shelter or animal control has had “problems” in the past, we implore you to take another look. Are changes being made for the good even if slowly? Can YOU be a part of the change that it needs?
Thank you to Heidi, Liz and their volunteers for allowing us to be a part of your day and see the changes coming for Cherryland Humane Sociey!