Business People Fall 2018 - Page 25

NONPROFIT Heartland Humane Society provides ... shelter & love ... Cats perch in the new cat sanctuary, above, at Heartland Humane Society. The new addition allows for more freedom and room to maneuver for the shelter’s felines. At left, a dog stretches its legs and wags its tail upon seeing visitors. Below, volunteer Larry Money walks Bobo, one of the shelter’s dogs. Money is a regular volunteer who comes out to play with the dogs and help fix things up. for stray animals S TO RY A N D P H OTO S BY TRACY GOLDIZEN D on’t let the sound of dozens of dogs barking scare you away. They’re excited to see you. Jean Sporer and Serena Burton founded Heartland Humane Soci- ety in 1995 in an effort to find homes for Ottumwa’s stray ani- mals. “I just knew there had to be somewhere, someplace for the strays to go,” Sporer said. She had had the idea in her head for a long time but had trou- ble making it happen. She said there was money to be saved and for a long time there was no movement; then, suddenly, it hap- pened. After renting a place for a while, the shelter moved to its current location on Fox and Sac Road and can now house 94 dogs and 87 cats, said Shelle Harvey, HHS board president. The mission of the no-kill shel- ter, Harvey said, is to find good homes for all the animals and to make sure they are shown atten- tion and love while they’re housed at HHS. “I’m 100 percent confident that happens,” she add- ed. The employees, Harvey said, are key to the operation. “If it wasn’t for the employees, we’d be lost. They love these animals.” Even though Heartland isn’t open to the public every day, the workers are there seven days a week — including holidays — to feed and care for the animals. BUSINESS PEOPLE 25