Dunlavey and her husband Marty have volunteered for about three years. The couple participates in many efforts, including pet therapy and community television programming.
They found their niche.
“I just loved everything about it,” Dunlavey said.
Many volunteers have adopted their own pets through the local group.
Right now, there are three dogs listed on the group’s website for adoption. Cats are handled through a joint mission with Salem-based Feline Friends, another all-volunteer, no-shelter organization.
McCarthy said she is proud of the adoption success stories. The group’s work is made possible through donations and the support of committed veterinarians who give discounts spaying or neutering and vaccinations.
McCarthy said she has worked hard to secure grant funding, but often found herself reaching out to the same people time and time again for financial support.
She said will find out what has to be done to legally dissolve the organization. That includes finding out what to do with any remaining money.
McCarthy credits the passion of the remaining volunteers, but it’s not enough.
“Some like the idea of helping,” McCarthy said, “But when I say, ‘Call me,’ or ‘Come over, I want to teach you things,’ no one has.”
There just aren’t enough people willing to help, she said.
Marty Dunlavey said he is depressed about the potential demise of the organization.
He credited McCarthy’s passion.
“This woman is the reason we have had success,” he said. “It would be so much more difficult without her. There is no better friend or president for the Humane Society than her.”
It’s now down to some last-minute attempts to rally help.
“We’re doing last ditch efforts to put the word out,” Dunlavey said.
For McCarthy, it’s about taking care of her health, but she’ll never stop caring about the animals.
“I just can’t physically do this anymore,” she said. “We all do the best we can, but I don’t see it continuing.”
For information about the Greater Derry Humane Society, call 434-1512 or visit derryhumanesociety.com.