Humane Society regains nonprofit status

By Michael Williamson -

Members of the Humane Society of Madison County informed the County Commissioners on Monday that the society has reinstated its 501c3 nonprofit status. They had lost the status last fall after having some organizational and administrative issues. The reinstated status was effective Nov. 2.

Humane society board of trustees member, Barb Niemeyer, said the process has been long and difficult but they wanted to get the commissioners up to speed.

“We had to file past years’ tax returns from 2011-2016,” Niemeyer said. “There was a lot involved from setting up administrative structure to computerizing all of the financial information.” She said they also reached out to Senator Sherrod Brown’s office who helped smooth the process of resetting the finances.

The 501c3 status will allow the organization to pursue donations, particularly those of larger amounts as well as apply for grants. Niemeyer, Executive Director Meg Werner and treasurer Dana Bartoe also approached the commissioners for a three-month advance to help with establishing a cash flow. The advance was approved for $18,540 after the financial reports were presented, revealing that it takes between $12,000 and $15,000 a month to operate the humane society.

Niemeyer is part of the transitional board that was initially put into place to help create that organizational structure. The board also had a meeting Monday evening to vote on the nine new members which will make up the official board of trustees.

Also at the meeting was Dale McNeal, president of the London Recovery Project (LRP) and Leon Daniels, a board member, Sergeant at Arms and Peer Supporter with LRP. They gave a presentation on their hopes to acquire a housing facility for the organization.

The LRP, founded in 2014, assists members of the community with substance abuse issues through 12-step programs and support meetings. McNeal and Daniels were looking to the commissioners for help on how and where to get information.

“Homelessness is a big issue,” McNeal said. “People come to us and tell us what their need is and we try to help.” He said their hope is to offer support beyond meetings and actually offer transitional housing of some kind to those in recovery.

“There are a lot of obstacles with this,” he said. “But we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have hope.” Commissioner David Hunter has plans to tour facilities with LRP members in the Springfield-Dayton area to learn more about getting housing assistance.

Also, several members of the adults with developmental disabilities vocation program were present to take a tour of the courthouse, led by Hunter.

By Michael Williamson

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.

Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.