South Tahoe pet shelter seeks donations with fundraisers canceled |

South Tahoe pet shelter seeks donations with fundraisers canceled

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe has been supporting the South Lake Tahoe community to provide pet assistance to those in need. They have distributed dog and cat food while offering several other services to the community.

From April 3 to June 15, they distributed 1,719 pounds of dry dog food, 178 pounds of cat food, 1,103 canned pet food and 130 pounds of cat litter through their Pet Pantry program.

HSTT has also issued 66 spay/neuter vouchers and $1,385 through their emergency assistance program in 2020 so far to help their community pay for vet bills.

HSTT was planning on several events, dinner parties and fundraisers throughout the summer to help bring in funds to cover the cost of these much-needed amenities they provide to the community. However, due to the coronavirus, all fundraising events have been canceled or rescheduled for later in the year.

“We had huge plans in South Lake Tahoe to meet with the community and connect,” said Erin Ellis, community engagement director. “Everything had to change with fundraising events and face to face connections.”

HSTT needs donations more than ever. Since HSTT has been unable to raise funds with planned fundraising events, they are reaching out to the community for support.

“The coronavirus has been a major hindrance,” Ellis said.

HSTT’s South Lake office opened in December 2019, since the temporary closure of their office in South Lake Tahoe in mid-March, HSTT has altered ways to facilitate adoptions and continue to provide services to the community. Luckily, staff was able to either foster or adopt out all cats and dogs when shelter-in-place went into effect.

“We’ve had an even bigger June than last year with adoptions,” Ellis said. The coronavirus has not hurt adoption. However, Ellis said that there has been a substantial increase in people in the community needing support. HSTT is committed to keeping pets in their homes.

“There is a new focus area in animal welfare so families don’t have to turn their pets in,” Ellis said.

She explained that HSTT assistance programs help to provide that opportunity to families who are financially struggling.

Ellis said that even during the pandemic, there has not been a major increase in surrendered pets.

“People really care about the pets in our community,” she said.

HSTT takes in dogs and cats from other surrounding areas to alleviate overabundance along with pets from high kill shelters.

HSTT is the only nonprofit animal welfare organization in the South Lake area that provides programs and services to the community offering spay/neuter vouchers, vaccine clinics, vet assistance, pet food assistance, education and pet therapy.

“Since opening our doors in South Lake Tahoe last year, the demand for our services has been consistently increasing,” said Stephanie Nistler, CEO of HSTT, in a press release. “We are honored to support the community with much needed resources in caring for their beloved pets. However, funding for this program is limited and we need help if we are to continue to provide services in South Lake Tahoe. We looked forward to holding fundraising events and getting to know the community this year, but the COVID-19 crisis has eliminated that possibility. The only way we can raise money for our South Lake Tahoe program is to directly ask the community for donations.”

HSTT launched Pet Pals, a virtual education program this past school year in South Lake Tahoe.

Donations go directly to community spay/neuter, vet assistance and pet pantry efforts.

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