(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
The Shiawassee Humane Society (SHS) has announced Sue Osika as the new executive director of the Bennington Road facility. Osika, who has a particular passion for nonprofit organizations, combined with an outgoing personality and a background in fundraising and event planning, is thrilled to find herself in the new position at SHS. Starting in her position on Tuesday, Sept. 3, directly following Labor Day, Osika is already establishing plans to help focus the county on SHS, educating the public on what is offered, how to become involved, how to foster/adopt and incorporating a general message of outreach and positivity. Osika hopes to be a presence at numerous locations throughout the county as she aids in fulfilling the group’s ultimate mission to provide caring for the unmet needs of area pets – cats, dogs and other.
“I know how important it is to be visible,” she shared, highlighting her vision of collaborating with other area nonprofits and community groups to facilitate SHS. “I want to be the ‘Humane Society Lady’ so people will automatically recognize who I’m representing.”
SHS already has a staff in place and it is likely local people would recognize familiar faces since several staff members have been involved for many years. Tim Bishop is the operational shelter manager, handling day-to-day duties with the team and assuring that all animals are well cared for. Osika will primarily be the outward representation of the nonprofit organization, utilizing her experience working with Red Cross, the Saginaw Shiawassee Habitat for Humanity and as an impassioned county resident to help with current and future fundraising needs.
Some of those fundraising efforts are reflected in the upcoming Pets on the Street event to be held on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21 with locations in Owosso, Corunna, Durand and Laingsburg. Individuals interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact SHS. All donations collected will go directly to the Shiawassee Humane Society.
Another upcoming event is Woofstock VII. Woofstock is planned for Saturday, Oct. 5 at Fortitude Outdoor Fitness. The public is welcome to attend and enjoy “Peace, Music and Love!” Tickets are available through eventbrite.com. Again, all proceeds go to support SHS.
SHS has a list of needed supplies to share, as well. Current items include non-clumping cat litter, dish soap, laundry detergent, bleach, floor cleaner, multi-purpose spray cleaner and canned dog food. Non-clumping cat litter is continuously needed.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating, please contact Sue Osika at SHS at (989) 723-4262. More information is provided at shspets.org.