From puppies and kittens to bunny rabbits and Guinea pigs, there are nearly 8 million animals in shelters across the country. And nearly 3 million of them will be euthanized this year because nobody adopts them. If you are an animal lover living in Connecticut, you’ve probably wondered how you can help. The CT Humane Society is an excellent place to start.
The Connecticut Humane Society aims to find every companion animal that comes through its doors a permanent home. It believes communities are enriched by the friendships that people and animals create with each other.
The organization has four core values: stewardship, quality care, community focus, and respect.
The CT Humane Society aims to use its resources in the best way possible, specifically to complete its mission and ensure the future of its work.
It does so by basing its decisions and actions on providing the best care possible for the animals in its building.
Ultimately, it hopes the placement of its animals will bring the community together. And also, to show the staff, volunteers, and the public that they are considered partners in the mission of improving the lives of animals.
History of the Charity: CT Humane Society
Gertrude O. Lewis, a senior at Hartford High School at the time, founded the Connecticut Humane Society in 1881.
At the time, the Society rallied not only against the inhumane treatment of animals but also of children.
For more than 80 years, it was the only statewide organization that offered protective services for children.
After the Department of Children and Families was founded in 1965, the Humane Society shifted its focus to pets.
CT Humane Society started its journey in the basement of a building on Prospect and Grove Streets. Shortly afterward, the headquarters moved to 300 Washington Street. The headquarters moved again in 1958 and continued expanding.
By 1900, the humane society had opened a branch in New Haven, and soon after, Stamford, Bridgeport, and New London had offices.
Today, there are also branches in Waterford, Westport, and Newington. The Society also owns Fox Memorial Clinic, which opened in 1999 with the goal of providing reduced cost veterinary care.
The humane society didn’t stop there.
In 2003, it created its Mobile Adoption Center, a vehicle that travels throughout the state to promote the organization’s programs, provide pet adoptions, and offer vaccine clinics.
In 2005, the vehicle even traveled to Louisiana to help with disaster response during hurricane season.
Over the last decade, an increasing number of people have surrendered pets in Connecticut because of financial problems.
This prompted the CT Humane Society to open a Pet Food Pantry in 2011 so that more people could keep their pets. The center now offers dog training classes as well.
The Connecticut Humane Society shows no signs of slowing down. It’s safe to say that it will continue to provide everything people need to create and maintain the strong bond that occurs between animals and humans.
Facts and Figures
The Connecticut Humane Society is classified as an animal protection and welfare organization and has a non-profit tax code designation of 501(c)(3). It files IRS Form 990, which gives it tax-exempt status.
The most recent financial information available for CT Humane Society is for the fiscal year that ended in December 2015.
In 2015, the organization earned nearly $2 million in net income.
Notable sources included contributions, which made up 34.1 percent of its revenue, as well as program services and investment income, which created 20 percent and 22 percent of its income, respectively.
It also earned money from net fundraising and sales of assets.
When it comes to expenses, the Connecticut Humane Society paid out nearly $3.2 million in salaries and wages, nearly $400,000 to its executives, and nearly $200,000 for professional fundraising fees.
Overall Review and Ratings
The Connecticut Humane Society is a solid organization. Charity Navigator gives it an overall score of 94.93 out of 100. It has a 92.83 in the financial area and a full 100 percent when it comes to accountability and transparency.
The Connecticut Humane Society’s financial data
Tax-exempt organizations, nonexempt charitable trusts, and section 527 political organizations are required to file a Form 990 or 990EZ with the IRS.
The CT Humane Society’s most recent IRS Form 990 or 990EZ available is for 2017. The following financial data was extracted from the organization’s most recent publicly available tax filing for their fiscal year ending December 2017. This financial data can give you a clearer picture of how they use their resources.
Note that many animal advocacy and homing charities don’t register adoption or vet clinic fees as donations. Instead, you’ll see them listed as “Program Service Revenue.”
Percentage of donations spent on services
- Total donations and grants: $4,500,309
- Spent on services and grants: $6,723,404
- Percentage of donations toward grants and services: 149.39 percent
Percentage of revenue spent on fundraising
- Total revenue: $10,756,527
- Fundraising expenses: $1,477,154
- Paid to professional fundraisers: $579,392
- Percentage of total revenue spent on fundraising: 13.73 percent
Administrative and overhead costs
- Overhead expenses: $790,345
- Property assets: $6,745,628
- Investment assets: $59,424,859
- Paid to officers/directors: $398,728
- Highest paid officer/director: Executive Director $170,907
- Percentage of total revenue spent on officers/directors salaries: 3.7 Percent
The People Behind the Organization
The CT Humane Society is staffed by many experienced, competent, and compassionate individuals.
- Executive Director – Gordon G. Willard uses hands-on tactics to oversee the entire organization. Willard has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University. He has his own shelter rescue, a yellow lab named Scooby.
- Chief Financial Officer – Carla Francalangia, CPA, oversees the CT Humane Society’s financial aspects, including its annual budget. She also oversees the organization’s IT program. Carla, who earned her degrees from Babson College, decided to work for CHS after adopting an old dog named Max from a friend. She currently has a white German Shepherd named Lupa.
- Director of Development – Overseeing fundraising, relationship building, and more, Barbara Naugle, MS, is the director of development. After earning a degree in social work from Eastern University, and another degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy from Bay Path University, Naugle joined the team. She loves both cats and dogs and has a dog named Penny.
- Director of Operations – Theresa Geary oversees the daily operations of each adoption center as well as Fox Memorial Clinic. She has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut. Geary owns a poodle named Beatrice and a wire-haired Dachshund named Rascal. She also has a Guinea pig.
- Director of Human Resources – Jennifer Adams, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is the director of human resources. She handles employee relations, including their procedures, benefits, and payroll practices. Adams has a degree in Spanish and Jewish Near-Eastern studies from Washington University. She has two rescue dogs.
In addition to these staff members, a range of other employees and volunteers come together each day to make CT Humane Society a success.
Ways to Volunteer
If you love helping animals as much as the Connecticut Humane Society does, consider volunteering. Perhaps the biggest way you can help is to foster a pet in your own home.
This frees up space in the shelter to help other animals and allows you to help socialize an animal who will eventually go to a forever home. You can also volunteer in person at any of the adoption centers.
Have your kids been looking for a way to volunteer?
Younger children cannot volunteer in person, but they can run a lemonade stand. The Lemonade Stand Challenge allows kids to “stand up” for pets by creating a lemonade stand and donating their proceeds to the shelter.
Sometimes adults who love animals can’t volunteer because of time constraints. There’s something for you, too. Sponsor a Dress Down to Save Pets Day at your office or school.
People pay a small fee to wear casual clothes, costumes, or something else out of the norm. All proceeds go to the shelters. You can also host service products such as fundraising events, craft projects, or supply drives.
Ways to Donate
Whether because of time constraints, physical limitations, allergies, or another reason, not everybody who loves animals can volunteer in person. The CT Humane Society offers eight different ways for you to donate so that you can still help in some way.
1. Write a check
If you live in the area, you can drop a check off at the main headquarters in Newington. You can also mail it if you don’t have time to head to the shelter in person.
2. Donate online
An increasing number of people no longer use checks, which is why the CT Humane Society allows you to donate online as well. You can choose to donate one time or monthly by visiting the website.
3. Planned giving
If you are writing your will or otherwise doing estate planning, you can designate the CT Humane Society as one of your beneficiaries.
4. Memorials and tributes
Donate in memory of your loved pets or of one of your human loved ones who cared for animals as much as you do.
5. Corporate giving
Corporations can donate by matching gifts given by employees or by asking about co-venture partnerships with the humane society.
6. Donate from your IRA
If you are 70 or older, you may provide a charitable gift via your Required Minimum Distribution. It will not appear as income and will not be taxed.
7. Stock gifts
Providing appreciated stock has two tax advantages. You won’t need to pay capital gains tax if the stock increases in value, plus you can receive an income tax deduction at the time of the gift.
8. Physical gifts
Money isn’t the only way to donate. You can also donate pet supplies, offer your gently used furniture, give household items to the ReStore, or even donate your vehicle or watercraft. The organization arranges all transportation and towing of any vehicles.
Adopting a Pet
Of course, the biggest way you can help the Connecticut Humane Society is to adopt a pet.
The organization is always looking for qualified, loving, Forever Homes for the pets it takes in. Keep in mind that there are guidelines in place to ensure each animal’s safety.
You must be 18 years old, willing to fill out a questionnaire, and willing to participate in an adoption interview.
Potential adopters must also have a valid photo ID with a current address and may be asked to provide permission from your landlord.
Other requirements may apply depending on your personal situation.
Whether you want to adopt a pet, volunteer, or donate, you are likely to enjoy the time you spend interacting with the charity.