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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pike County Humane Society's shelter full, coffers empty

Donations are down, even as the need increases
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Pike County Humane Society Executive Director Barry Heim gives individual attention to the animals in his care.Beth Brelje/Pocono Record
Beth Brelje
Barry Heim was just 8 years old when a terrifying act of abuse left scars on his heart and put him on a mission for life.
He grew up with an abusive, alcoholic stepfather who made life in his home very difficult. Heim's comfort was his dog, a beagle named Buttons.
One day his stepfather came home drunk, went to a neighbor's house and borrowed a gun.
He called Heim and Buttons outside, tied the dog to a tree and then shot it in the head, twice because the first bullet did not kill the pet.
"I screamed hysterically and begged him not to do it," Heim said. "He made me dig a hole and bury him. I loved that dog. He told me to cry, get it out of my system and forget about it."
Heim didn't forget. Instead he has dedicated his life to caring for animals that others have given up on.
Today he is an animal cruelty investigator and the executive director of the Pike County Humane Society in Shohola.

Financial emergency

The shelter has less than three weeks of operating funds left. It requires $27,000 a month to run, and Heim says there is only $13,000 left. A money shortage has continually plagued the Pike County Humane Society, in part because of its unique style of operation.
It is not the first time Heim has announced the shelter is near closing.
Regardless, the need has not gone away. The shelter is full, with some 85 cats and 46 dogs.
"It seems like people aren't concerned about animals," Heim said. "I want to cry, to tell you the truth. It's only by the grace of God that we've kept going this far."

Funding down

Donations and animal adoptions have dwindled since the foreclosure crisis hit Pike County.
The Humane Society used to receive a $15,000 annual grant from state dog licensing fees. But there were no grants in 2013 or 2014.
Instead, the state now reimburses the shelter $40 for each unclaimed stray dog that is adopted to new families, not the ones returned to original owners. So far this year (up to June) there have been 58 unclaimed dogs adopted. That amounts to $2,320, a major decrease from the previous grants.
In addition, donations are down $50,000, Heim said.
Although it serves the entire county, many municipalities do not donate to the shelter, Heim said, and then recited donations by memory on the spot.
So far this year, Dingman Township donated $4,000; Lehman, $4,000; Milford Township, $500; Milford Borough, $500; and Matamoras, $300.
Heim says Pike County commissioners, Westfall, Greene, Delaware, and even Shohola, where the shelter is located, give nothing.

Heim is not getting rich operating the shelter, either. He lives in a small trailer home on the property so he can be available around the clock. He left an engineering job 15 years ago that paid more than $60,000 to take the job leading the shelter. He now earns $34,000.
The shelter once had a staff of nine, but to lower costs, there are now seven employees.

Unique care

Pike County Humane Society is different from most shelters. Instead of caging animals until adoption, they are placed in a more comfortable setting.
The yard is divided into large, fenced areas where dogs can run and bask in the sun for hours or lay under a shade tree. Dogs are pack animals, so they like to be together instead of separated into individual cages, Heim said.
New dogs, and dogs that don't get along, are separated by fences, where they sniff and often become friendly enough to be put in the same run.
A few friendly dogs with mellow dispositions walk around freely inside the shelter. Small dogs and large dogs take turns in the yards to avoid conflicts.
Cats are in an air-conditioned home-like setting — two rooms with a bed and kitchen counter. There are lots of places to nap or rub noses with other felines. A window opens to a large outdoor cage, so cats can let themselves outside, climb on perches in the fresh air and look down on the dogs in the yard.
The shelter has a remarkable 94 percent save rate, according to Heim. That means no animal is euthanized due to lack of space or length of stay.
Animals that arrive injured are given costly medical treatments. Quality of life is the criteria Heim uses to determine an animal's fate, and unless an animal is very sick, he tries to give every animal a good quality of life.

'Time heals'

One dog named Leo has a sweet disposition and a pretty face, but the fur on Leo's back is missing in patches due to an old skin problem. Leo is healthy now, but cannot grow new fur in those spots. Leo has been available for adoption for years, but there are always more attractive dogs to choose.
At this shelter, the clock will not run out for Leo. This kind of care takes money.
Heim says he has access to plenty of animal food, but he needs money to keep the bills paid.
"If we close, where will all these animals go?" he asked, and bent down to pet a large old dog sitting at the gate under a tree.
The dog was dropped off last week because his owner moved to a nursing home. He has been sitting there waiting for his owner to return.
Lots of animals come to the shelter with a sad story, but Heim is reassuring. "Time heals," he said.
But time is running out for the Pike County Humane Society. To make a donation, volunteer or to adopt a pet, call 570-296-7654.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Join us on Sunday, August 10th from 10:00 am through.... ???

For our 2nd annual picnic at Promised Land State Park (

We will be having a barbeque, Duck Derby and Dog Walk. Or just come on over and hang out, relax, talk to the people who help make the shelter run.

There is no cost for the event.

In case of rain or inclement weather please call the shelter at 570-293-7654 to see if the event is still going on.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Van Courtesy of Combined Energy Services!

Many thanks to Combined Energy Services of Dingmans Ferry, PA and Monticello, NY. 

Owner Mike Taylor of CES recently responded to our request for the donation of a van to the shelter.

Rather than scrap an older van they donated it to us and even found an engine that was needed to replace the old one.

Pictured is PCHS Shelter supervisor Kayleigh Keveson, Mike, PCHS Executive Director Barry Heim, Kyle Stalter of CES, PCHS Kennel Manager Janet Heim, and some of the critters that will be helped by this donation.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Upcoming Events

We have a busy 2014 schedule and GREAT stuff planned!

Please keep checking back as we are frequently updating the schedule.

IMPORTANT: As always anything can happen with the weather so of course any of our events are subject to be canceled, changed or postponed at the last minute.

If you are in doubt as to whether we will have our event or not please call the shelter at 570-296-7654 for the latest information.


6/21-6/22 - Pet adoption at Country Kettle in East Stroudsburg, 11-4

6/28 - 6/29 - Pet adoption at Apple Valley in Milford, 11-4


7/5-7/6 - Pet adoption at Walmart in Westfall Twp, 11-4

7/19 - 7/20 - Pet adoption at Country Kettle in East Stroudsburg, 11-4

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dingman Township Fire Dept Collections

The Dingman Township Volunteer Fire Department will be collecting items for the Pike County  Humane Society’s Wish List at the Dingmans Volunteer Fire Department’s Sunday breakfasts.

Collection will be on the first Sunday of each month starting in March, between 9:00 and ll:30. Wish list items include:

Paper towels • Sponges • Scrubbies
Heavy-duty trash bags • Spray window cleaner
Bleach • Fabuloso deodorizer/cleaner
Formula 409 spray cleaner • Odo-Ban
Scrubbing Bubbles Spray Cleaner
Canned & dry cat food
Rabbit food
Towels (urgently needed) • Blankets
Wal-Mart gift cards
Copy paper • Newspapers
Stamps & business envelopes
Dog sweaters and jackets
Dog leashes and collars
Kuranda beds (call shelter for specific sizes) - See below for how to donate!

Your support for both is greatly appreciated. The Fire Department is located at 680 Log Tavern Road.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kuranda Beds Needed

We are currently in need of new Kuranda beds to replace our existing ones. We have had them for a long time (and appreciate those who have donated them in the past) but many need replacing as they are showing signs of wear and tear.

We are looking for all sizes. The beds come in plastic and aluminum, the latter is preferred because it lasts longer.

If you wish to donate right from their website, click the following link which will take you to the page which will let you donate to us directly:

These are great beds which keep the dogs off the cold floor, they are a quality product as well and any donation will be appreciated.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Country Kettle Adoption July 19 and 20

Join us this weekend, July 19 and 20 from 11-4 at Country Kettle for our Mid-Summer pet adoption.

Dogs and Cats will be available.

Country Kettle is located on 2523 Milford Road (Business Route 209) in East Stroudsburg, PA.

  PLEASE NOTE: During this time of the year it may be too hot to bring animals to an adoption. Please call the shelter at 570-296-7654 during the day if it is too hot, too stormy, etc. to make sure the event is still occurring.

Either way we will be open during normal business hours at the shelter, from 12-4 each day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Walmart Adoption

Celebrate 4th of July weekend with a bang by adopting your new best friend on Saturday July 5th and Sunday July 6th at Walmart in Matamoras. We will have pets for adoption from 11-4.

And if you're there anyway but not there to adopt please consider donating. The shelter is struggling financially right now so we would appreciate any support you can give.
Special thanks to Walmart for the use of their facilities.

PLEASE NOTE:  As always we need to be conscious of the weather conditions. At this time of the year if we feel it is too hot for the animals we may cancel at the last minute. Please call the shelter at 570-296-7654 for any schedule updates.

Either way we will be open during normal business hours at the shelter, from 12-4 each day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Apple Valley Pet Adoption

  Please join us this Saturday June 28 and Sunday June 29th at Apple Valley on Route 6 in Milford for a pet adoption from 11-4.

PLEASE NOTE: During this time of the year it may be too hot to bring animals to an adoption. Please call the shelter at 570-296-7654 during the day if it is too hot, too stormy, etc. to make sure the event is still occurring.

Either way we will be open during normal business hours at the shelter, from 12-4 each day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Italian Dinner!

Our Italian Dinner is back on April 12th and will take place at St. Patrick's Annex on High St. in Milford from 4-7pm.

Prices are $12 for adults, $5 for 12 and younger.

Dishes will include: Penne a la Vodka, Chicken Marsala, Sausage and Peppers, Spaghetti, Salads, Desserts and more.

We will also have a mini Tricky Tray.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

We are having an amazing dinner on 4/20. It's not just your typical spaghetti dinner, but also features the following:
  • Penne a la Vodka
  • Sausage and Peppers
  • Chicken Marsala
  • Spaghetti with pomodoro sauce
  • Meatballs marinara
  • Salad, soft drinks, coffee and dessert
Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for 12 and under. 5 and under eat FREE.

We will also have a mini Tricky Tray.

The event runs 4-7 PM and will be at St. Pat's Annex on High St. in Milford.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Greentown Agway Adoption 3/1

We will be at the Greentown Agway on Route 507 in Greentown on Saturday, March 1st from 11-3.

We have a lot of great animals right now for adoption, with dogs or cats of any shape or size are available at the shelter.

The shelter will be open for business as usual as well, from 12-4.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Please Read Regarding Our Policy on Accepting Checks!!

We have recently seen a large upsurge in bounced and canceled checks so unfortunately we can longer accept checks as payments under certain circumstances.

Effective Immediately we will no longer accept checks as payment for services, such as animals adoptions, drop-off fees, redemption fees, T-shirt purchases, etc. Going forward the only acceptable forms of payment will be Cash, Credit Cards and Money Orders.

(Please note: This does not include donations, this only applies where goods or services are exchanged.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Join us on Saturday September 21st at the Delaware Valley Middle School on Routes 6/209 in Milford PA for our world-famous Tricky Tray!

We will have 175 trays of new prizes, all worth $50 or more.

We will also draw our cash raffle with three (3) winners.

Doors open 2:00, calling starts at 4:00.

Admission is still only $5 and includes one set of tickets.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Girl Scout Troop 591 Keeps on Giving

7/23/2011 UPDATE!!

On June 9th all the girls from GS Troop 591 received their Bronze Award!!

Well deserved!

5/24/2011 - After the girls of Troop 591 completed their volunteer requirements to earn their badge, they’ve continued to help the Humane Society because (they tell us) they feel their assistance is going to a cause they believe in – and because helping with the pets at an adoption event is FUN!
Composed of 5th and 6th graders, the troop’s volunteers donated over $500 worth of pet and shelter supplies through their own individual donations, from donations solicited from Bushkill Boarding, and from class mates at Bushkill Elementary and Lehman Intermediate schools.

“It is so rewarding to see what the girls are getting from their experiences, the pride they show in helping, and their enthusiasm with the pets,” noted a shelter volunteer involved in helping to set up the scouts’ participation. “Their leaders and involved parents are very instrumental in giving the girls this opportunity, and we are grateful to them as well,” the volunteer concluded.

Groups interested in becoming involved in gathering donations, helping out at the shelter or events should contact the Humane Society at or by calling the shelter and leaving contact information so we can get in touch.

Friday, June 3, 2011

RUN don’t walk
to APPLE VALLEY RESTAURANT on Rt. 6 in Milford
on SATURDAY, JULY 28th between 11 and 4
to adopt your new Best Buddy
Please note!!!This event will be weather permitting. If it’s too hot for our critters we’ll have to plan a different day.