Mark Plyter may refer to the Humane Society of Wayne County, New York, as a “small, rural shelter,” but the organization has a big impact on homeless animals in the area. Mark has nearly 30 years of experience in animal control and is the executive director of the shelter, but every adoption he sees makes it feel like his very first day.
“It’s the most rewarding thing to see a dog or cat go home with a family,” says Mark. “The happiness and joy that an animal can bring to a family is why we do this. Knowing that these animals will know love and compassion again is all the reward we need.”
Balancing Resources With Demand
Serving an area of almost 100,000 people, the Wayne County Humane Society oversees many adoptions — but it’s also challenged with many more animals coming into the shelter. It’s a balance the shelter often struggles with as a private organization without funding from the county or state. But against those odds, the Humane Society still accomplishes amazing feats.
“Our partnership with PetSmart Charities has allowed us to adopt out many more animals, and it’s the reason we have not had to euthanize for space in 13 years,” says Mark.
Now that is a reason to celebrate.
PetSmart Charities Grant to Fund Spay and Neuter Services
With its field grant from PetSmart Charities, Mark estimates Wayne County Humane Society can spay and neuter almost 200 animals. That’s an important number for a group trying to flip the number of adoptions going out versus animals coming into the shelter.
As for the future, Mark says he would love to continue his partnership with PetSmart Charities and work toward building a new home for Wayne County Humane Society. The shelter currently uses a converted ranch home.
“One of our goals is to build a new shelter, one that is more conducive to promoting animal health and furthering one of our core mission objectives, providing education to the citizens of Wayne County,” says Mark.
While Mark and everyone at the Humane Society of Wayne County works toward those goals, they enjoy the moments that make it all worth it and reflect on why they love what they do.
“When a senior dog or cat is adopted, it has special meaning to me,” says Mark. “I think that they are sometimes the forgotten animals, but they can be the best pets. Ones that come into your home, lay down on the living room floor, just like they have always been there.”