Highway 6: Pender County Humane Society celebrates 10 years of saving lives

Highway 6: Pender County Humane Society celebrates 10 years of saving lives

BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - Friends forever.

“It’s a place for animals," says Gloria Johnson, the President of the Pender County Humane Society. "They come in and out.”

The dogs and cats, the new owners, and the shelter: all friends forever.

“Probably 15 years ago, I woke up one morning and I said 'I had a dream that we built a shelter," says Johnson.

And five years later, it became a reality.

“It’s like a home with fuzzy people in it instead of human people," says Johnson. "Well, they’re pretty human to us.”

The humane society has been active in Burgaw since 1997, but the small building on Highway 53 is what they’ve called home for the past 10 years. The 2,000 sq. ft. shelter allows cats and dogs alike to have a safe place to sleep, eat, and live until they find their forever home.

“It’s been their home," says Johnson. "Some of them for a day or two, a week or two, or in some instances, maybe a couple years.”

Johnson given her heart and soul to the animals of Pender County way longer than the shelter has been around and she beams with pride for what her and the team do for the dogs and cats in the area.

“The thing that makes me the proudest, with whatever we’ve done, our animals have never suffered," says Johnson. "If they’ve had to have surgery, if they’ve had to have a heart worm treatment, if they’ve had to have a long stay, we’ve paid every bit of that.”

The Pender County Humane Society works hand in hand with For our Furry Friends resale and consignment store. Just a few miles down the road from the shelter, every single penny made at the store, goes right back to those animals. They sell clothes, home decor, pet supplies, and much more. Throughout the store, you’ll find pictures of animals at the shelter with descriptions that allow the customers to see that the money they spend, truly goes towards a good cause. But, the money from the store isn’t enough to the needs of the shelter. That’s why their hosting a tenth birthday party celebration in July. The goal: raise enough money to pay off the debt of the building, and then some.

“Every little bit we get, somebody says, ‘well I can only do a dollar or two.’ That’s fine," says Johnson. "Because somebody else may say the same thing and your dollar or two, it all adds up.”

One thing that sets the humane society apart: they’re no kill. Which does cost a lot, but not as much as the cost of losing a life.

Gloria’s dream goes beyond just the humane society; she would like to see the entire county become no-kill, which would be the first in the state.

“Wouldn’t that be fantastic if Pender County could use that [no-kill] and say, we love our animals so much that we have pledged to become no kill," says Johnson.

A dream, years from the making, but not out of reach/

“We know they’re loved, they’re cared for where they could be on the side of the road, in a ditch, they could be who knows where," says Johnson.

Luckily, the dogs and cats of Pender County have their forever friends.

Visit the Pender County Humane Society website for a list of animals available to adopt, adoption application, and much more.

Their 10th birthday party fundraiser is on Saturday, July 20. You can call 910-259-7022 or email penderhumane@yahoo.com to find out more information about the event.

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