The Humane Society of West Louisiana (HSWL) in Rosepine raised money and collected needed items at their annual Holiday Silent Auction last Saturday at the Impromptu Players Wooten Theatre in DeRidder.

At the event, people donated laundry detergent, dryer sheets, paper towels, and disinfectant. In return, guests were awarded door prizes, refreshments, holiday items, and gift certificates.   

This was the 19th year HSWL held their silent auction event. “We didn’t think it was ever going to be this big,” HSWL Director Rita Bingham said. “I am grateful to the public for coming back year after year.

“Originally, just a few items were donated by members of the humane society. We had food and speakers. Now it’s turned into a function that quite a few people look forward to every year.”

All donations and earnings from fundraising events go toward the care and treating of the animals. “Every dime goes to animal costs,” Bingham said. “We have no overhead like the Humane Society of the United States. Our garage sales pay the electric bill and two employees.”

Bingham, 81, in her 21st year with the nonprofit says working with animals is a labor of love for her. “I enjoy it; I work myself to death but I love it.”

She currently has 20 dogs at her home and hopes to eventually build a quarantine center at the Humane Society. She takes all new dogs home with her and keeps them there for 10 days, then vaccinates, followed by another five days before they join the rest of the animals at the shelter.

“This humane society gives me a purpose,” said Bingham.

The Humane Society of West Louisiana is a nonprofit no kill animal shelter founded in August of 1998 to serve the parishes of Vernon, Beauregard, Jeff Davis, Sabine, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Grant, LaSalle and Rapides.

It is made up of a small group of volunteers who rescue abandoned, abused or neglected animals by providing them a safe and clean environment and medical care.

The rescues are evaluated for health and temperament, then put into either foster homes or adoption center at the shelter until they find homes.

The goal of the HSWL is to end the cycle of pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; to educate the public about pet ownership responsibility; and to end animal abuse through education.

The shelter’s garage sale is held 7 a.m. - noon every Friday and Saturday across from Unity Baptist Church in Rosepine. After Maurice's in DeRidder closed recently all store fixtures were donated to the garage sale, Bingham said.