Monroe County Humane Association Celebrates 1 Year at Animal Care Campus


Karen Parson hugs an anxious Clyde on Wednesday as they await test results at the Monroe County Humane Society’s veterinary clinic and nonprofit outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

One year and 4,453 animals cared for later, the Monroe County Humane Association was able to celebrate the opening of its Animal Care Campus this week.

In April 2020, MCHA opened a new facility to provide low-income pet owners with health and wellness care, expanding its footprint from the original Richland Plaza campus and its mobile clinics. The facility was built on six acres of land at 791 S. Fieldstone Blvd. on the west side of Bloomington in 2019. The facility also has a pet pantry, donated and low cost prescription medication for pets, and houses animals that owners cannot not looking after them for various reasons – from escape from domestic violence situations to deteriorating health of the owner.

“You see, the MCHA is not a large nonprofit organization, but it is very focused,” said Valerie Pena, chair of the MCHA board of directors, at the inauguration event on Monday. “He is the one who hears the cries of our community through the animals and the people who love them and know their needs.”

Initially, the MCHA offered vouchers for anyone with a subsidized income to go to a vet, but officials realized that the vouchers weren’t enough. The MCHA decided to do minor, low-cost medical care on their own, treating itchy skin and ears and other less serious ailments. This demand increased until the amputation of limbs.

As pet ownership and the number of people in dire financial straits grew, so did the already growing demand for MCHA services. The number of vets doubled and two additional technicians and three receptionists were hired. Executive Director Rebecca Warren said the campus receives 200 voicemail messages per month.

Warren said 90% of clients have subsidized income, which means they present welfare documents upon arrival. Many clients often only have $ 20 or $ 40 to pay for care.

“One of the preliminary questions we ask clients when they arrive here is ‘How much do you have for today’s visit?’ We work with your budget. If your pet has a lot of issues but you only have $ 40, we’ll start with the most important diagnoses and work our way down, ”Warren said.

Each exam room can be watered and has a drainage hole, as well as soundproof walls to contain barking or other loud noises. Behind the examination rooms are radiology facilities, dental treatment and an operating room. Out of about $ 50,000 in surgical equipment, Warren said MCHA only has to purchase one-third of the items, with the rest donated by other clinics and vets.

Warren said around 30 and 50 pets have been housed on the Animal Care campus for pet owners who are unable to care for their animals or need a break. MCHA also has a Behaviorist who helps animals that are not socialized and for new pet owners who need education and resources.

While other veterinary clinics in the area have turned away clients due to layoffs, Warren said the MCHA clinic was so busy no one was fired. Mobile wellness clinics took place throughout the year. This summer, a mobile clinic treated around 200 animals in four days.

“The demand continued to be there for us,” Warren said.

Dr Sarah Nichol listens to Rey & # x002019; s breast at the Monroe County Humane Society & # x002019; s Nonprofit Veterinary Clinic and Outreach Center on Wednesday.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Dr Sarah Nichol listens to Rey’s chest at the Monroe County Humane Society veterinary clinic and nonprofit outreach center on Wednesday. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Maverick gets a treat for being good during a check-up at the Monroe County Humane Society's nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center on Wednesday.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Maverick receives a treat on Wednesday for being good at an exam at the Monroe County Humane Society’s nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Ashli ​​Bentely performs a test on Wednesday at the Monroe County Humane Society's nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Ashli ​​Bentely takes a test at the Monroe County Humane Society’s veterinary clinic and non-profit outreach center on Wednesday. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin clips Tink & # x002019; s nails as Karen Parson holds it at the Monroe County Humane Society & # x002019; s Nonprofit Veterinary Clinic and Outreach Center on Wednesday.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin cuts Tink’s nails on Wednesday as Karen Parson holds him at the Monroe County Humane Society’s nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

A client leaves the Monroe County Humane Society's nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center on Wednesday.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

A client leaves the Monroe County Humane Society’s veterinary clinic and nonprofit outreach center on Wednesday. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin holds Rey on Wednesday while Dr. Sarah Nichol listens to her chest at the Monroe County Humane Society's nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin holds Rey on Wednesday while Dr. Sarah Nichol listens to her chest at the Monroe County Humane Society’s nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Dr Sarah Nichol examines Clyde on Wednesday as Karen Parson keeps her head still at the Monroe County Humane Society's veterinary clinic and non-profit outreach center.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Dr Sarah Nichol examines Clyde on Wednesday as Karen Parson keeps her head still at the Monroe County Humane Society’s veterinary clinic and non-profit outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin trims Dexter's nails on Wednesday as Karen Parson holds him at the Monroe County Humane Society's nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center.  (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

Liz Austin trims Dexter’s nails on Wednesday as Karen Parson holds him at the Monroe County Humane Society’s nonprofit veterinary clinic and outreach center. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: The Monroe County Humanitarian Association Celebrates 1 Year On The Animal Care Campus


Boyd S. Abbott