HHS Valentine’s Day Cupcake Sale Slated

Pictured is Teddy Loecker, 7, a Morkie or Yorkshire terrier and Maltese mix. Her “ parents” are Deanna and Lance Loecker of Yankton.

Heartland Humane Society’s (HHS) annual Valentine’s Day cupcake sale aims to raise money for pets at the shelter by selling sweet treats for humans.

This year’s goal is to raise $10,000 for pet vaccination costs, which is 500 cupcake orders, Kerry Feilmeier, HHS director, told the Press & Dakotan.

“We use these funds to purchase our vaccines for 2022,” she said. “The cost of veterinary care continues to rise.”

Every new arrival at the animal shelter is vaccinated for distemper and rabies, and dogs also receive the bordetella vaccine to prevent kennel cough.

“Our estimated cost per vaccine bundle is about $15 per pet,” Feilmeier said. “This doesn’t include any testing, exams or preventative care that we provide to each animal at intake, too.”

Last year, HHS took in 298 dogs, 325 cats and 10 small animals. Of the total 633 animals, 618 were adopted, she said.

A few of those pets were transferred from Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

“In 2021, we spent almost $65,000 on medical care,” Feilmeier said. “This includes the cost for spay and neuters, any additional testing or medicine for sick or injured animals, prevention for fleas, ticks and heartworm, veterinary exams and vaccines.”

In addition to raising money, the cupcake also raises awareness in the community about the animal shelter.

“After serving the community in some way for over 20 years — HHS grassroots started back in 2001 — I still think many people don’t know exactly what we do or how great of an asset HHS to their community,” she said. “Any promotion for HHS is a good thing. It reminds folks the importance of supporting animal welfare in their community. In addition, the proceeds raised help kick off our new fiscal year, helping us provide care to the animals.”

Each package or cupcakes also includes a story about one of the pets up for adoption at the animal shelter, which can include new faces and medical cases, too, Feilmeier said.

“We’ve already provided a hip surgery on a sweet dog that came from western South Dakota, and welcomed 24 new animals in the first 10 days of the year,” she said. “We’ve had a sweet cattle dog named Rosette with us since Nov. 9, 2021. She is currently being treated for heartworm and is not available for adoption yet.”

HHS also has a butterfly lizard available for adoption, which is a new first for HHS, Feilmeier said.

On the whole, 2021 represented a 27% increase in animals taken in at the shelter over 2020, and a return to intake and adoption numbers seen in 2019.

However, the pandemic has shut down the community service program that allowed federal inmates to volunteer for local organizations. Many nonprofits relied on it for volunteers, she said.

Last year, HHS logged 4,622 volunteer hours, 88 hours per week on average, saving the shelter more than $50,000 in employee wages, Feilmeier said.

“In addition, our overall volunteer numbers are also low,” Feilmeier said. “If you have a few hours a month to spare, we’d love to recruit your help.”

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Each package will include four gourmet cupcakes, a greeting card and one story of a pet awaiting adoption. For more information, visit https://donorbox.org/2022cupcakes or call HHS at 605-664-4244. The deadlines to order is Feb. 10 or the first 500 orders.

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