Donated Money Going “to the Dogs” at IV Humane Society

Imperial County Humane Society Director Devon Apodaca (center) received a donation from the Imperial Chamber of Commerce and Victoria Ranch Homes to benefit the animals at the local shelter. Photo by Stella Jimenez

IMPERIAL – Operating a facility with over 300 animals and surviving solely on donations has been a difficult challenge for the Humane Society of Imperial County.

On Tuesday, the shelter saw a bit of relief after the Imperial Chamber of Commerce and Victoria Ranch Homes presented the shelter with a check in the amount of $1,823 raised during a previous “Jingle and Mingle” event.

“We knew the Humane Society had a lot of need, so we decided to hold a fundraising event during Christmas,” said Valentina Estes, director of Benchmark Mortgage. “Seven of our Tuscany clients decorated the inside of their homes with Christmas décor and agreed to have people who paid a fee to enter and view their houses. We also had sponsors who donated money.”

According to Estes, the event attracted almost 80 people paying between $15 to $30, depending on whether it was one person or a family of four.

Devon Apodaca, director of the Imperial County Humane Society, said the event was good exposure for the shelter.

“During the event we had five dogs that were available for adoption,” said Apodaca. “One was adopted that day and the other four were adopted later that week by people who went to the event. It was good exposure for the animals. They got homes and we raised money for the animals. People had fun. It was a win, win situation for everybody.”

During an exclusive interview with The Desert Review in September 2016, Apodaca said the shelter was in dire need of assistance due to lack of adoptions and numerous people dropping off their animals, ultimately putting all responsibilities on the shelter.

He said most of the shelter dogs start by being picked up by animal control and then taken to the shelter after five days if not claimed by their owners. Once at the shelter, the dogs will receive food, water, baths and necessary medical attention. Each dog will also be evaluated by a veterinarian and screened for any behavioral or medical issues at a cost of about $150 per animal, assuming the animal is healthy.

At that time Apodaca also mentioned the shelter had accumulated over $16,000 in medical bills owed to a local veterinarian.

“We are always in need of help,” said Apodaca. “We have huge vet bills, so this is basically going towards animals that were sick or injured that needed medical attention. In other words, the money will go toward our vet bills.”

Estes said she was happy with the outcome and plans to hold this type of event annually.

“Our clients were very excited and offered to participate again this year. It was definitely a challenge decorating these homes, but worth it,” she said. 

To volunteer or make donations, contact the Humane Society of Imperial County at (730) 352-1911 or visit their location at 1575 W Pico Ave., El Centro.