EDITORIAL: The Humane Animal Treatment Society still needs our help

Poodle mix Elaine (left) and Shih Tzu mix Brenda (right) socialize with volunteers March 15 in the Humane Animal Treatment Society building.

On Feb. 28, the Mount Pleasant Humane Animal Treatment Society received 58 malnourished, unsocialized dogs to care for. 

They were seized from a Blanchard man’s property who was running an illegal large-scale breeding operation. Normally, HATS receives one dog at a time. Due to the magnitude of the puppy mill, the organization was forced to close its doors for two days to properly care for all of them. 

“All bellies are full, everyone is clean and medically tended to and every furry little body is snuggled up in the coziest blanket we could find,” HATS posted on its Facebook page March 3.

Since their arrival, HATS has received major community support and donations to help the animals. 

HATS’s Facebook fundraiser raised more than $7,000 over the past few weeks. The operation received donations of dog food, pee pads and doggy beds. 

The community pulled through by hosting events, like a concert at Rubbles, where all profits were donated to HATS. Local artists Yeesh and Dr. Emeritus performed at the benefit concert.

“Items have come to us in mountains,” HATS said on its Facebook page. “The support from community members has been outstanding.”

We want to thank the community for supporting HATS in this desperate time of need. Thank you to all of the people who have donated and who have adopted already. This is an example of community support. 

HATS still cares for 28 of the original 58 dogs. Some were transferred with HATS partners UPAWS, an animal shelter in the Upper Peninsula, and the Animal Rescue Coalition of Mecosta County. Five dogs were taken to Clare County Animal Control.  

But, it still needs your help. These dogs need loving families that will be patient with their socialization. 

Since they have spent most of their lives in small cages, they don’t know how to be dogs yet. Some of the dogs have never even touched grass before. 

When they arrived at HATS, some were quiet and stunned, while others were shaking with fear and nerves, according to a press release from the organization. The dogs ranged from the size of poodles to Australian shepherds. 

To donate or adopt, visit HATS from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1105 S. Isabella Road or call 989-775-0830. You can also visit its Facebook page, Humane Animal Treatment Society, for more information. 

Even if you're not in the position to adopt a dog, you can help in other ways. Spread the word to friends and family who would be interested in adopting. Take a few extra dollars from your next check and donate it to HATS. It would be an investment knowing your effort will help these animals live and grow to be healthy, happy dogs.  

Beyond that, HATS is always looking for long-term volunteers. Visit the humane society and find out how you can help out.