Because it’s hard | Highlands Humane Society Cashiers



Written by: David Stroud – Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society | Problem: 2021/12 – December

The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society’s extraordinary series of adoptions means lots of satisfied cats and dogs, and a board full of happy households.


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During my first week on the job, a member of the Board of Directors of the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society took me to lunch.

Over a sandwich and fries, we reviewed the adoption numbers for the past two years. For 18 consecutive months, we hadn’t had a month with at least 20 adoptions, and in the winter, adoptions dropped to single digits.

“You might want to think about closing the shelter to the public during the winter months,” he said.

I didn’t think for a moment that he was serious.

What I believed, however, was that he was challenging me. A challenge that I eagerly accepted.

We launched a 10-point plan to increase the number of adoptions, which included an increased focus on customer service, cleanliness and staff training, better signage and direct access to Highway 64, a greater visibility on national adoption websites and a new Facebook presence from less than 600 friends to over 23,000, strengthening our volunteer and hospitality programs, and last but not least, increasing our ability to accommodate animals that the community has brought to our doors.

So not only has CHHS found at least 20 forever homes in a single month, but we have now had 20 or more adoptions for 93 consecutive months.

And yes, that includes every winter month for almost eight years. Of course, it has been a challenge to stay open in the winter. There are fewer people on the Plateau and the weather conditions sometimes mean that there are no customers and fewer staff on the colder days.

But we will remain open to the public this winter, and every winter.

To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, “not because it’s easy, but because it’s difficult”.

And I will add… because it is true. But it’s also expensive. Please consider a generous year-end tax deductible contribution to help ensure that CHHS will always be a safe and warm place for the abandoned, abused and neglected. It doesn’t matter the month, whatever the season.

Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit animal welfare organization located at 200 Gable Drive in Sapphire, one and a half miles east of Cashiers Ingles, between Cedar Creek Club and Lonesome Valley on Highway 64 East. Our no-kill refuge is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit us online at chhumanesociety.org or call (828) 743-5752. Donations can be mailed to CHHS, PO Box 638, Cashiers, NC 28717.


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