FLOYD COUNTY — For more than 40 years, the Floyd County Animal Rescue League has been helping the animals of Floyd County and their families when they need it most.
But just like for so many other organizations, the past year and a half has been a tough one as staff have seen both the need increase and the donation sources fall.
Kate Muss, director at the rescue league, said that donations during the COVID-19 pandemic are down by nearly half. That’s mainly because a lot of those dollars have usually come through events like the annual gala, which had to be canceled last year and this year, and pet photos with Santa, which was not held in 2020.
“So donations have really gone down but the need to help animals and provide support to the people in Floyd County has definitely increased over the last year,” Muss said.
Over the past year, the rescue league has given 460 families $100 vouchers to help get their animals spayed or neutered, and issued more than 350 medical vouchers worth $100 for families who needed help with sudden, unexpected medical care costs for their pets.
They’ve also started a program to help those impacted by the pandemic, whether loss of work or other circumstances, $25 gift cards to Feeders Supply “to help cover the cost a little bit of feeding their animals rather than surrender them to the shelter,” Muss said.
To compound the issue, Muss said many veterinarians were unable to perform the spay or neuter procedures early in the pandemic, due to the shortage of personal protective gear needed in hospitals.
“So we’ve been spinning our wheels trying to get as many animals fixed as possible,” she said.
The rescue league is also a major supporter of the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter, which director David Hall said sees between 2,500 to 3,000 cats and dogs in a given year. The rescue league helps cover the cost of testing supplies, vaccinations, spay and neuter surgery and assisting with foster care and breed rescue.
Community members can help give back to the rescue league in a special way this weekend. The Floyd County Animal Rescue League is one of 550 organizations in Southern Indiana and Louisville participating in Give for Good Louisville, an online fundraising event hosted by the Community Foundation of Louisville that starts at 12:01 a.m. Friday and goes through the end of the weekend, with lots of prizes available for donors.
Other Southern Indiana organizations included are the Carnegie Center for Art and History and Hope Southern Indiana.
“We’re so excited to host Give for Good Louisville once again — it truly unites our entire community in support of the organizations that connect us and guide us to a brighter future for all,” Ron Gallo, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville, said in a news release.
“These organizations lift us up in difficult times and carry us forward when we need change. Give for Good Louisville is the perfect opportunity to show our thanks for the work they do to make our community a better place for everyone.”
Muss said she also realizes that not everyone is in a good financial place to give money at this time, but that there are other ways to help. They accept aluminum cans at the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter at 215 W. Market St., New Albany.
Those with a Kroger Plus card can also register for a percentage of funds to go to the rescue league every time they shop for groceries. Shoppers can also add the Floyd County Animal Rescue League to their Amazon account through Amazon Smile. Both options cost nothing to the consumer to use.
“That really does help us as well and it’s an easy way to support us,” Muss said.