DERRY — The end of one era may breathe new life into another as local volunteers try to start a new animal humane group in the area.
The Greater Derry Humane Society’s board of directors voted earlier this summer to disband the all-volunteer organization after serving animals in need for 27 years.
There may still be hope as some try to start another group to carry on the mission.
Original Humane Society volunteers met with new faces last week to see what kind of interest there was in starting up another animal group in town.
It’s a cause many want to keep going.
“But it won’t continue as it was,” volunteer Paula Dunlavey said, “we would have to start all over at the drawing board.”
That’s because the original nonprofit group is set to be officially dissolved. As of last week, the state still reported the original Humane Society as an active nonprofit because the official paperwork had not been filed yet.
Former executive director Barbara McCarthy said earlier this year that upward of $30,000 remained in the organization’s account.
If and when the group’s official status is dissolved, that money would go to support other rescue organizations in the area, including Salem-based Feline Friends.
The original group offered not only foster homes and adoption services, but also education programs in local schools, dog obedience classes, pet therapy in local nursing homes and other community outreach programs.
There was no physical shelter for animals.
Even though volunteers knew the group was struggling, some hoped it might survive.
“Everybody was, like, in shock,” Dunlavey said, after directors voted to disband. “We knew it (might be coming), but it was still sad to see it come and go.”
Longtime volunteer Ralph Zusman said it was hard to call it quits.