This year, HCHS will celebrate 40 years of helping animals in need. This is a major milestone that we are proud to have reached!

One special individual has dedicated her life to the service of the animals, both through her years of volunteering at the shelter, as well as in her full-time job. Combined, she has dedicated more than 70 years to animal care and yes, that is more years than she is old! There are animal enthusiasts, and then there are animal lovers.

Sandee Warsing was one of the founding members of HCHS back in 1978, and has volunteered on every committee. She has also served in each position on the board of directors, and has held the position of HCHS president since 1997. Sandee has also been an animal welfare volunteer, public speaker, foster parent, PR correspondent, spay/neuter advocate and has volunteered her time and skills as a trained veterinary technician. We are so fortunate to have her support at HCHS and we are proud of the many things she has accomplished on behalf of the animals in our care.

Special moments and memories of her past 40 years include: During the first 10 years after HCHS opened its doors, more than 12,000 animals came through the door. In 1994, HCHS hosted its first rabies clinic, the first HCHS Junior Auxiliary was formed, and HCHS become involved in the national “Be A Pal” (Prevent a Litter) program. Also in 1994, the free-roaming cat rooms became a reality at HCHS. In 1996, we saw the grand opening of the HCHS Thrift Store, “DeJa Vu.” At the time, DeJa Vu was the only nonprofit business operated for the sole purpose of raising funds for HCHS. That year, HCHS also joined the first-ever nationwide “Pet Adopt-a-Thon” in the U.S. In 2000, HCHS hired its first shelter manager and established the HCHS “Paws To Recycle Program.” In May 2005, the Spay/Neuter addition at HCHS became a reality. In 2016, HCHS hosted a pet oxygen mask initiative, where we raised funds to purchase and donate pet oxygen mask kits to all of the fire companies in Huntingdon and Mifflin counties. In 2018, HCHS broke ground for a massive renovation/expansion project.

Sandee has also offered her skills as a veterinary technician to HCHS. She has worked as a vet tech assistant to Dr. Cynthia Coppock at Spruce Street Animal Clinic for 30 years. She has assisted in the routine and emergency care of the animals at HCHS and has helped to save countless lives. She volunteers her time Saturdays to help vaccinate incoming animals, do a routine health check and test for diseases such as Lyme and heartworm infection. She dispenses medications and monitors the neglected, abused or young pregnant animals that find their way to us.

At Spruce Street Animal Clinic, she assists with the spay/neuter of our shelter animals, treating injuries, providing health assessments and routine medical care. All the while, she treats and loves each animal as if they were her very own.

Dr. Coppock says of Sandee, “Sandee is always willing to learn and add to her knowledge and skills. She’s always willing to assist when needed and is a pleasure to work with. She’s not just a vet tech, she’s my best friend.”

Throughout her 30 years as a veterinary technician and 40 years as a HCHS member and volunteer, Sandee has received numerous accolades; far too many to list them all. Most recently, in 2016, Sandee was recognized for her volunteer service, when she received the “Volunteer of the Year Award” from the Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce at the annual awards gala. Although Sandee would prefer someone else receive the spotlight for their dedication and service to the animals at HCHS, considering we are celebrating a milestone year with our 40th anniversary upon us, we felt it was time for the spotlight to be focused on Sandee.

Thank you, Sandee, for all that you are, for all that you have done, and for all that you will continue to give in the future. HCHS is indebted to you. You are not only our president, you are the heart and soul of our facility and we are honored to have you in our midst.

Upcoming Events

A Pet CPR and first aid certification class will be held from noon to 3 p.m. today, July 13, at the Comfort Inn, 100 S. Fourth St., Huntingdon.

Come see us at Lake Raystown Resort’s 8th Annual Pet Show under the Marina Tent from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, July 20, in Entriken.

We’ll be in Laney Hall at the Huntingdon County Fair Sunday, Aug. 4, through Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Huntingdon County Fairgrounds.

Join us for our second annual Paddle for Pets Poker Float from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Petersburg Volunteer Fire Co. boat launch.

Stop by our bake sale at Holiday Bowl in Mill Creek from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

Mark your calendars for basket bingo at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Stone Creek Valley Lions Barn in Oneida Township.

HCHS will be at the Cassville Oktoberfest Friday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Sept. 29, Oktoberfest in Cassville.

Visit us at the Pet Expo at the Blair County Convention Center, Altoona from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20.

Mark your calendars for the Dance Your Tail Off event at the Huntingdon Country Club from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. For more details, visit our website. We appreciate your support.

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