MISSOULA — Donations at the Humane Society of Western Montana in Missoula are down by 20% this year -- and that money is responsible for all of the shelter's budget.
Humane Society executive director Marta Pierpoint says without extra help from government grants they would struggle to keep operating. It costs about $1 million every year to pay the 23 employees and keep the lights on at the shelter.
But even with donations down, the organization has still managed to keep up with the times, by sending out newsletters and offering online trainings. They've also managed to start a new food distribution program, sending out 45,000 tons of pet food to shelters across the state.
Pierpoint says they haven't had to let anyone go yet, so it hasn't been all bad, but the future is uncertain.
"It's really quite significant to be down by 20%. Absent some additional state and federal assistance in the next few months, it's going to be a real challenge to keep all our programs up and running,” she explained.
Pierpoint says those who signed up should be getting the newsletter in their mailbox soon which will have more information about how the organization is expanding its outreach this year.
The Humane Society of Western Montana is also sending food to the Poverello Center's new winter shelter that allows pets.