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The journey of the HS began so many years ago with a story about a horse abuse case.
This case was featured in the Bay City Times in1984 with a call to citizens to attend a meeting to make a stand against animal cruelty in our community. I, along with so many others, attended the
gathering. We came together as strangers. We left determined to continue the discussion of animal cruelty and what Bay County citizens could do about it.

After several meetings, it was decided to form a Humane Society. There was a former Bay County Humane Society that was no longer in existence, so we titled our organization the ‘Humane
Society of Bay County’.

The first board was voted in and with the help of an awesome volunteer HSBC obtained our 501 (c)(3) status. This step was crucial in the growth of our organization as it allowed contributions
to be tax exempt.

Our reputation grew as the organization took on animal cruelty by going on animal cruelty calls. Two dedicated HSBC volunteers were our Cruelty Investigation Team. They traveled all over the county to help animals in need. They created a photo album showing actual cases of animal
cruelty they encountered. Sadly, it is evidence that animal cruelty existed in our community.

While HSBC continued with the cruelty, we began to help sterilize pets by offering a $15
rebate to anyone that sterilized their pet.. We created a bumper sticker….”To Neuter or Spay Is the Kindest Way”. We educated people on the need to have their pets sterilized and began going into schools with our message of compassion.

When the County decided to build a new Animal Control building, the HSBC pledged to raise $100,000 for the construction of a facility that would have an education room, lots of natural lighting and an adequate ventilation system. The campaign was called the “Pathway to the Tree of Hope”.
Paver bricks were sold that line the sidewalk at BCAC and just within the door is a “Tree of Hope” with leaves, acorns, and stones purchased to help raise money for the construction. The tree is still
there today.

The HS focused their commitment on saving animals and embraced the NO KILL Movement. So in 2012 the cat foster programs began. The cat foster programs grew because of incredible volunteers that took animals in their homes, drove the fosters to vet appointments, took animals to adoption events. With so many animals being fostered HSBC partnered with Soldans, Pet Supplies Plus and Petsmart to place cats in the store and be adopted. This partnership has been crucial in helping the HS adopt so many cats.

The cat foster program led to the Trap Neuter and Return (TNR) program for cats that were feral and could not be adopted as a pet. In Spring of 2015 the TNR program began, along with the
education of the community on the feral cat population and the vacuum effect if feral cats are trapped and killed versus sterilization.

The dog foster program began in 2015. The program focuses on the hard to place dogs and special needs. Dogs in our foster program live in foster homes until they are adopted.

The need for low-cost sterilization became very apparent and so we partnered with All About Animals Rescue to find a location for the transport to pick up pets and drive them to Warren, Michigan. At first, Tractor Supply Co. offered a spot for us to pick up/drop off pets. Now the transport comes to the HS building. As of today over a thousand HSBC cats have been sterilized at
AAAR.

In 2016 HSBC was left in two estates. The vision of these two individuals changed the path of the HS forever as it allowed the HS to buy our first building. Their legacy lives on as their financial
support made it possible to buy the physical therapy facility on 1607 Marquette Ave in Bay City, MI
and transform it into the Humane Society Pet Adoption Center.

At the Pet Adoption Center you can:
● Attend adult and children educational classes
● Buy pet items in our store
● Visit an adoptable dog that you are interested in adopting
● Visit cats in our brand new cattery
● Bring your pets and feral cats to the All About Animals transport for low-cost sterilization

As my mind relives the journey since 1984, I am in awe of what HBCS has accomplished. This organization has evolved and recreated itself over the years to meet the needs of the community. Always trying to keep our eye on our purpose…to help the animals of Bay County.

 

– Jeannie Wolicki-Nichols, Former President of HSBC

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