Too Many Animals, Not Enough Donations at Suburban Shelter Lead to Calls for Help

For almost 70 years, Hinsdale Humane Society has devoted itself to helping others in need, but now the shelter is in need of help itself.  JoAnn McGuinness, the treasurer and a board member of the society, says that there is an “animal welfare crisis” unfolding in the U.S. “Everyone is over capacity right now. There’s an animal welfare crisis that is happening,” she said. McGuinness says during the height of COVID, spay and neuter surgeries were not considered essential services, and an estimated 3 million surgeries were either put off or canceled. The result? “Litters of puppies and kittens are showing up at our doors and everyone’s doors,” she said. Unfortunately for the shelter, adoption fees only cover a small portion of what it costs to house an animal. Plus, donations are down and expenses are up. As a result, Hinsdale Humane Society has put out an SOS: Save Our Shelters Campaign, with the hopes of reversing their financial difficulties. They also want to shed light on a common misconception. “Because we are the Hinsdale Humane Society, we happen to reside in a very wealthy ZIP code, and people assume we have a lot of money and we have a large endowment and that’s simply not the case,“ McGuinness said. HHS does not accept government funding, and relies on donations to help make ends meet. When they moved into a larger building on Salt Creek Lane in 2018, they were able to double their intake of animals. After the COVID pandemic slowed adoptions dramatically, they need more help than ever. “Just goes to show we have a lot of education to do,” says executive director Jacki Rossi. 

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