The Animal Kingdom: Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society
By Ashley Kraus and Josh Lohse
Don’t be fooled by the small sign or the winding road; the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is one of the largest animal shelters around. The surrounding trees make this location surprisingly quiet given its proximity to Hwy 64 East. The silence won’t last long, however. After reaching the top of the road, visitors will undoubtedly be greeted with the sound of roughly twenty dogs barking from their spacious outdoor area. The front porch will most likely be covered with the Society’s various cats alternating between the inside and outside spaces of the main office.
Once inside, visitors will find themselves surrounded by various rooms designated for puppies, kittens and wounded or sick animals. Before entering a room, visitors as well as staff, are required to disinfect both their hands and shoes to protect both the humans and animals.
Incorporated in 1987, the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society is a nonprofit, no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. Their goal is to provide care and treatment for all dogs and cats needing adoption and to secure safe and permanent homes for those animals. The shelter also hosts spay/neuter programs and clinics, and they work to promote proper care and treatment of all animals.
Volunteer opportunities are varied; students can help with daily tasks and activities, and they can assist in special events. The Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society organizes a number of events, from mobile adoption to rabies clinics to Christmas parades, throughout the year. The staff wecome volunteers at any of these events. Students can also contribute to a variety of activities during the week. Volunteers can help clean and wash bowls and kennels, groom animals, fold laundry, answer phones and socialize with the dogs and cats.
The shelter hosts an event called “Friday Dog Walkers” where volunteers (or anyone interested) are paired up with a dog that fits them in both size and stamina. From there, the pair will walk, exercise and socialize together. Trained and sociable dogs have a better chance of getting adopted, so the staff hope this activity will connect dogs to their potential families more often.
The shelter is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Volunteers are welcome anytime during these hours and on Sunday, when the shelter still operates but is not open to the public.
For more information, visit www.chhumanesociety.org or contact the executive director, Cassie Welsh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.