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Franklin County Humane Society raising money for transport vehicle

By Makenna Mays, Staff Writer

The Franklin County Humane Society has lent a helping hand to community pets and pet owners for some time by offering medical care, basic food needs for animals at the shelter and in the community as well as other services.

Now, the humane society is asking for help from the community. Recently, on the way to an adoption event, their van struck a patch of black ice rendering the vehicle inoperable. The humane society depends on the vehicle to accomplish many of its services.

On Feb. 10, the volunteers were on their way to a My Furry Valentine event, an adoption event at the Sharonville Convention Center. Lots of rescues in the Cincinnati area come together for this event as a one-stop shop for those looking to adopt.

“As we were leaving the building, the first snowflakes were starting to fall,” said Jeanine Higginbotham, a manager of the humane society.

The van, which had been donated by Jim True Ford, was being driven by one of the volunteers when she hit black ice on I-74 in Miamitown. The van spun into the median. The cats were a little jostled, but everyone including the driver was okay. However, the van was a complete loss, and they only had liability coverage.

The humane society has been around since the 70s; however, more recently it has been able to develop its building into a place where the group can house cats that come into the Franklin County Animal Shelter. The facility is now used as a drop-off place for animals to be spayed or neutered monthly and to get the animals vaccinated and ready for adoption.

“The organization has been around for a long time and is just trying to get more involved in the community and let the community know what we do as well,” said Higginbotham.

So far this year, the humane society has done more than 60 adoptions. The humane society is also able to scan for microchips and reunite pets with their families, hold vaccination clinics twice a year and have an emergency medical fund in case there is a pet in the community in dire need, and the owners cannot afford the costs.

Higginbotham believes an organization like the humane society is pretty unique in a small, rural area like Franklin County. She said the organization is important not only due to all of the services the humane society offers, but also because of all it does to educate people from spaying and neutering pets to the dangers of declawing.

“I think a big part of our organization is education,” said Higginbotham.

During the winter months, the organization receives reports about dogs, who are outside without shelter and delivers hay to those animals. Its spay and neuter services are offered through UCAN once a month. Surgery for a dog is $80, and cats are $40. The humane society serves as a drop-off point, so there is no travel required for owners. Recently, the organization has been able to offer spay and neuter transports to Laurel a couple of times during the year which is going to be difficult with the loss of their vehicle.

“The loss of the transport vehicle really put that in jeopardy,” said Higginbotham.

The organization is a registered 501(c)(3), and it runs purely on donations. Members put about $90 into getting a cat ready for adoption. The adoption fee for kittens is $75 and $50 for a cat. The organization loses money every adoption it does, which is why the organization depends on donations to complete its mission.

The vehicle was used multiple times a week to take animals to adoption events, transport their cages and pick up donations.

“We're starting from scratch at this point with the vehicle,” said Higginbotham.

Higginbotham has created a fundraiser on Facebook for anyone who would like to donate. Those who want to donate cash can do so by bringing the money to the humane society. Those working at the humane society have currently raised a little more than $3,000 of its $10,000 goal through the Facebook fundraiser.

Higginbotham has worked very hard to increase the organization's social media and web presence. The humane society can now be found on Instagram, PetFinder and the humane society has a brand new website ( where anyone interested can find the hours of operation, volunteer applications and adoption applications.

“We just really want the animals in the community to be well taken care of,” said Higginbotham.