Humane Society hosts fundraiser for new building

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 27, 2010

NATCHEZ — Fat Mama’s Tamales had a lot of customers who weren’t sitting in chairs Wednesday night.

At Yappy Hour, a fundraiser for the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, dog owners were encouraged to come, dog in hand, to the restaurant to raise money for the NACHS building fund.

Vidal Davis, chairman of the building fund committee, said the fundraising campaign is within $100,000 of reaching its $750,000 goal to construct a new building for the humane society.

Currently the fund has approximately a $535,000 cash balance and property value and donation pledges of approximately $115,000 for a total balance of approximately $650,000.

“Our goal has always been $750,000,” Davis said. “We are working on getting our final numbers on construction costs and getting a hard number on what it is going to cost us now to build.

“We know we can build it for $750,000 and may be able to build it for less.”

Fat Mama’s owner David Gammill said he and his family have always been animal lovers and supporters of the humane society so finding a way for his business to contribute was just natural.

“We know the need for the new shelter, so we thought it was a fun way to get involved,” he said.

With the patio full of dogs and their owners and tables and bar stools inside full, Gammill said he was pleased with the turnout.

“We have never had a Yappy Hour in Natchez so we didn’t know what to expect,” Gammill said. “People love animals, and they love fun things like this. I think it would be great if Yappy Hour would catch on and other local restaurants and bars could host it more often.”

Davis said fundraising and meeting the $750,000 goal are still a top priority — especially with the target so close.

“We’ve had many people say, ‘Yes, I’ll contribute, but let me know when you are ready to start work,’” Davis said. “People are as passionate about animals and the security and health of animals as they are about many other causes. I feel sure we will get there soon.”

Denise Case said her love for animals was the reason she and her papillon, Squiggs, came to Yappy Hour.

“The new facility is such a worthy cause,” she said. “We all love animals and want to see that they are taken care of.

“They are unconditional love wrapped in fur.”

Once fundraising is complete, the plan is to construct a 6,000 square-foot facility near Copiah-Lincoln Community College on four acres of donated land. It will have the ability to house up to 300 animals.

The current facility on Liberty Road is approximately 1,200 square feet.

To get construction under way faster, Davis is hoping several donors can make significant donations to reach the fundraising goal.

“I want to appeal to the public and say that we are $100,000 away,” he said. “We are almost there. We are ready to break ground, we just need people to step forward and help make this happen.

Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to NACHS building fund, P.O. Box 332, Natchez, MS 39121.