DERRY — After 27 years of helping animals, a local humane group may call it quits.
The Greater Derry Humane Society is in dire need of new volunteers in order to continue its mission, members said this week.
If no new faces step up, the group may dissolve.
“I’m not hopeful,” organizer and co-president Barbara McCarthy said. “I think it’s too late.”
McCarthy said she also has to think about herself at this point as she battles some health issues.
“I’ve been sick and, after 27 years, I just can’t do it,” she said.
The nonprofit, all-volunteer organization offers not only foster homes and adoption services, but also education programs in local schools, dog obedience classes, pet therapy in area nursing homes and other community outreach programs.
McCarthy got involved in Derry’s organization right from the start.
In the beginning there were about three active volunteers. McCarthy jumped in full force and helped the program grow from an early effort with only $11 in the bank into a mission that joined the Derry-based group with other animal rescue efforts around the area to find homes for pets.
The organization now has about $30,000 in the bank, she said.
There is no physical shelter in Derry. All pets waiting to be adopted are in volunteer foster homes. The group’s budget comes only from volunteer support and donations.
Right now, it’s a case of not having enough help.
“We have so many great programs, as well as all the animals we rescue from terrible situations,” volunteer Paula Dunlavey said.
She said the lack of volunteers is serious enough that the group could disband this year.
“It’s certainly depressing to see how few volunteers we have now,” she said.
Only a core group of about seven attend the monthly meetings.