BEATRICE – During the dog days of summer, why not a day for the dogs?.....or in this case, a night out.
For a ten-dollar donation, dog owners brought their pets to the Big Blue Water Park for Beatrice Humane Society’s annual Dog Dip fundraiser….just before the park closes for the season.
"This is such a fun event. The main thing is to have fun...and a little extra money for us, is always good."
President of the Beatrice Humane Society Board, John Rypma, says the event typically draws 80 to 90 dogs and their owners. It’s been held for the past half-dozen years, with a one-year break last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. Rypma says the society and its shelter at the west edge of Beatrice continues to grow.
"Last year was by far, the highest number of animals. We has 1,289 animals come through the door...and we saved 91-point-8 percent of them. That's an exceptionally high number...and so far this year, we're ahead of last year."
During the height of the pandemic last year, many animal shelters had a struggle in some areas of the country to keep their doors open. Rypma says the humane society’s shelter was able to step up to the plate to take in more animals.
"We helped out some shelters that had to close because of Covid...and so, we kind of helped facilitate, brought animals up and dispersed them out to other shelters in Nebraska that wanted to help out...and there's a lot of shelters that came together to help those shelters when they had to close. Otherwise, the animals would all had to be euthanized. We were very fortunate. We found homes for them and it worked very, very well."
Because of Covid concerns, the Beatrice Humane Society shelter is currently operating by appointment-only, but Rypma says that’s working well.
"We want to keep everybody safe....and one of my big fears is what if I wake up some morning and the staff is all quarantined? Can't have it."
In addition to donations to bring dogs to the water park, the humane society receives considerable private support throughout the year, holding other fundraising events. It also draws annual budget support from city and county governments.
The society’s goal is to protect and place lost and homeless companion animals in Gage County and to be an educational resource…promoting responsible pet ownership.