By Karen Sturtevant, Senior Customer Care Representative at FoodScience
On a mid-summer afternoon in Vermont, I find myself with dozens of others waiting for the doors to open at the Humane Society of Chittenden County (HSCC). Adoption hours are set to begin and a small crowd of prospective pet owners are waiting excitedly in hopes of leaving with their new best friend.
I’m not here to adopt although I told my friends not to be surprised if I came home with a guinea pig or two. I’m here to meet Amanda Bottiggi, Development and Communications Coordinator for HSSC and Diana Hill, Director of Development.
My travels brought me to the HSCC thanks to my connection with FoodScience® Corporation (FSC), my employer based in Williston, VT. The two organizations share similar values: they each have a passion for the health and wellbeing of animals and have collaborated in outreach activities to share the message of responsible animal ownership.
Amanda and Diana greet me in the lobby where folks are milling and cooing over several cats and kittens available for adoption. A recent transport delivered 50 felines of all shapes, sizes, and ages. The rooms and crates display cats happily batting toys, napping on soft blankets and purring in the arms of prospective pet parents.
We made our way to the back offices as volunteers and staff were busy attending to their assigned tasks. Amanda and Diana tell me that in addition to full-time staff, over 200 volunteers provide the TLC, commitment, and dedication needed for the hands-on care and the “behind-the-scenes” workings. A lot of flurry as well as fun happens behind the lobby walls.
Amanda and Diana talk excitedly about HSCC’s programs. Truly something for everyone: free educational seminars open to the public, solutions for pets with behavior issues and hosting Camp Paw Paw, a program for young animal advocates, and Animal Welfare Warriors, a learning experience for teenagers.
In addition to small animal adoptions, HSCC has information on low cost spaying and neutering, surrendering of a pet and boasts a Good Neighbor program in which they offer partnerships with the homeless, victims of domestic violence and other local human service organizations to provide temporary care, free of charge for family pets during times of crisis and transition.
From the brief time I spent inside the facility, it was clear to me how much affection these folks have for the critters in their care and the fervor they share to educate people in animal welfare through their workshops and events.
FoodScience® Corporation, Pet Naturals’ parent company, supports the Society’s mission and has collaborated in events to show our support.
This past July, FSC sponsored the 25th Walk for the Animals & 5K Doggie Fun Run, the Society’s largest fundraising event of the year. FSC donated Pet Naturals products for goodie bags.
FSC recently hosted and a sponsored a night at the ballpark with the Vermont Lake Monsters. With many of our colleagues in attendance, half of the proceeds from a 50/50 raffle were donated to the HSCC.
“My colleagues and I were delighted to host the Humane Society of Chittenden County at the Lake Monsters game to have the opportunity to raise awareness of and funding for their mission to foster compassionate treatment of animals and prevent animal suffering; to strengthen the human-animal bond; and to further the cause of responsible animal ownership through education and public awareness,” said FoodScience CEO, Sharon Rossi.
This August marks FSC’s fourth season as a participating sponsor for Bark & Brew, a seven-week long dog-friendly craft beer tasting event to benefit the HSCC.
“The Humane Society’s mission is so aligned with our purpose to help people and pets live healthier lives every day and so we are honored to host them and be part of a shared purpose,” said Rossi.
Visiting with Amanda and Diana gave me a glimpse into what makes their organization tick and the commitment required to sustain it. As for those two guinea pigs, I didn’t see any so my dilemma to adopt or not, solved itself, for this time, anyway. However, there was this beautiful canine by the name of Spartacus. I wonder what my little rescue dog and tortoise would think of him…