Dice, a 2-year-old female pit bull mix, is just one of the adoptable dogs at the Van Wert County Humane Society Shelter. (Photo courtesy of Jess Ritchey)
Dice, a 2-year-old female pit bull mix, is just one of the adoptable dogs at the Van Wert County Humane Society Shelter. (Photo courtesy of Jess Ritchey)

VAN WERT –The Van Wert County Humane Society Shelter relies heavily on donations and fundraising events to keep the shelter up and running. One such event that will be playing its part will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, when Santa Claus stops by Pet Valu to take photos with community pets.

The cost of the photo-op is a $5 donation which all goes toward the Humane Society. All pets are welcome to come take photos with Santa. A photographer will be on-site to take the photos.

“Pet Valu doesn’t take anything from it; it all goes toward us which is very nice,” said Jess Ritchey, volunteer at the Humane Society.

The money that the Humane Society raises goes towards the cost of caring for the animals such as food, flea medication, and vet visits.

With over 50 dogs, most of them large breeds, the shelter goes through 400 to 600 pounds of dry dog food a week. Every dollar they receive through donations and fundraising is money that helps keep those pets fed and cared for.

If the shelter runs out of food, the first thing they do put out an announcement through social media that they are in need.

“We have a lot of really good people in the community who are very good at taking action,” said Ritchey. “If worse comes to worse, we would buy it.”

Ritchey explained that fundraising is vital to the shelter.

“Fundraisers are important because they keep us up and running,” said Ritchey. “We are a non-profit. We don’t get any money from anything. We don’t benefit from dog tags. We are donation-based from the community. When somebody donates money toward us we are able to care for the animals.”

Some of the care they provide includes flea medication, which every animal receives when they go into the shelter. Every cat and dog is spayed or neutered, which is a bill the shelter is responsible for paying. The shelter also cares for dogs who need medical attention. Over the summer they cared for a dog who was hit by a car. When the owner did not claim her, it was up to the shelter to foot the vet bill.

“When a person participates in the fundraisers, they are essentially helping an animal survive until they can find their home,” said Ritchey.

For the event, the Humane Society will also be showcasing some of their cats and dogs. They will have a binder on display with adoptable animals.

The event will take place on Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Pet Valu. Pet Valu is located on Towne Center Boulevard near Walmart.