June 30, 2005 The Humane Society of St. Thomas more than met its goal of getting 1,500 members by July 1. In fact, it looks like the goal of 2,000 members by Jan. 1, 2006, has been met, too.
"We lost count, we've been so busy," Joe Elmore, Humane Society executive director, said Thursday. "But we're sure we're there."
Randy Knight, philanthropist and owner of Knight Quality Stations, challenged the Humane Society to grow its membership from 167 in 2002 to 1,000 in 2004 in exchange for a $500,000 donation toward the construction of an Animal Care Campus. When the Humane Society reached that goal, Knight challenged the organization to double its membership for another $500,000 in 2005. However, Knight stipulated that 500 members would have to sign up by July 1 and another 500 by the end of the year.
On Monday, Elmore sent out e-mails, which in turn generated the recipients to send out more e-mails, alerting the public that 100 more members were needed to meet the July 1 goal.
The Source published a story as well.
Elmore said the organization, which advocates for and shelters animals on St. Thomas, was planning on putting another push on to meet the 2,000 members goal by Jan. 1.
But that won't be necessary. They've met it.
"But we don't want people to stop signing up or making pledges. The greater the numbers, the greater leverage we have with the government and politicians," Elmore said.
Constant pressure over several years from the Humane Society and others in the community finally succeeded in getting an anti-animal cruelty bill passed in the territory. But there's more to be done, Elmore said.
"I am grateful to the community," Joe Aubain, Humane Society president, said Thursday.
Aubain said he was surprised by the response. "I've never seen a response to anything like I have to this, short of when Hugo hit St. Croix, and the St. Thomas/St. John community got together and sent aid to St. Croix."
Knight said he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the Humane Society and the Animal Care Center.
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