From the Desk of Duffy: Getting to Know HSWC

From the Desk of Duffy
Getting to Know HSWC

As you can see by my photo I am a Scottish Terrier. My male human companion, Paul Miller who is the Executive Director of the Humane Society of Washington County in Hagerstown was asked to write a regular column for the Picket News. But as he is always very busy, he thought it would be a good opportunity for me to describe--from a canine's view--what it is like at an animal shelter.
Since I was once an unwanted stray running the streets in a neighborhood in Tennessee, I have experienced the loneness of having no home, the fear of being hit by a car, the unkindness of non-dog loving people, the sympathy of strangers and finally the joy and love of someone rescuing me and allowing me to live as part of their family.
So let's get started.
I want to start by telling you about the Humane Society of Washington County. Since all animal welfare type organizations (SPCA's, Humane Society's, etc.) are independent of each other, the public is often confused as to what we do and who we are, what we are supposed to do, or what we have to do, etc.
The Humane Society of Washington County (HSWC), known as the Washington County SPCA until the late 1990's, was founded in 1920 by Mrs. Daisy Derby Whipple, and began with twelve animals in a one-room frame building located on South Boulevard (Wilson Boulevard), which served as the organization's first shelter. The shelter's crude cubical construction and restrictions imposed by the City of Hagerstown pushed the HSWC to move in April 1938 its shelter to the current location on 13011 Maugansville Road.
The original Articles of Incorporation were established on November 14, 1921. On October 21, 1970, Articles of Revival were filed with the State of Maryland and the Society continues to operate under these Articles of Incorporation.
In 1958, the HSWC purchased the 2.47-acre Maugansville Road property from the Maryland State Roads Commission and constructed a building in 1972 that allowed housing a maximum of 30 dogs and 30 cats, with double occupancy.
In December 2001, we moved into a new 2.1 million-dollar, 12,500 square foot facility, enabling us to better accommodate the 4,500-6,000 animals admitted each year.
That's a lot of my friends to house, feed, medicate and try to re-home in one year. But I have met many of the staff and they are a caring and compassion group that strives to do the best for my friends--both 2 legged and 4 legged.
The HSWC is governed by a 15 member Board of Directors comprised of local citizens, business owners and professional dedicated to making Washington County a better place for animals. They are responsible for setting goals and policies of the organization, financial oversight, hiring the Executive Director and assisting with activities and fund raising events.
The staff and board try and follow the current mission statement during their daily activities, administrative duties and policy-making decisions.
Mission Statement: The Humane Society of Washington County exists to improve the quality of life for abused, neglected, and unwanted animals by sheltering those at risk and providing educational venues that strive to deepen individual commitment to humane values such as kindness, compassion, personal responsibility, and respect for all living things--qualities we believe are essential to make a better world for both the animals and people in this community.
The HSWC, although a private non-profit, is also a sub-contractor for Washington County. We are authorized by contract and county ordinance to enforce the current Washington County Animal Control Ordinance that was last revised in 1999. We currently have three Animal Control Officers that have to be available 7 days a week/ 24 hours a day to respond to over 3,000 calls for service each year. During normal work hours they respond to any complaint that is a perceived violation the Washington County Animal Control Ordinance, cruelty complaints and rescues. After hours their response is limited to those calls that are defined as emergencies. They are a very busy department at the Humane Society. But there is a lot more that goes on at the Humane Society.
* Euthanasia Request by Owners
* Pet Food Bank
* Foster Care
* Humane Education Center
* Humane Law Enforcement
* Lost & Found Connection
* Animal Placement, often called adoptions
* Safe Haven
* Sick & Injured Rescue
* Solutions Shop
* Spay/Neuter Programs
* Development, membership & special events
* Volunteers
* Animal Care
So as you can see the staff at HSWC is always looking for ways to help my friends in Washington County.
Hours of Operation: Closed--Sunday, Mondays & Major Holidays
Business Office & Receiving animals from Washington County: Tuesday & Thursday (10AM-7PM), Wednesday & Friday (10AM-5PM), Saturday (10AM-4PM)
Adoption Areas: Tuesday & Thursday (Noon-7PM), Wednesday & Friday (Noon-5PM), Saturday (10AM-4PM)