Culture

Athens County Humane Society presents their 30th annual Garden Tour Sunday

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Every day the Athens County Humane Society (ACHS) fields 30 to 40 calls and messages from the community, ranging from routine inquiries about their low cost spay and neuter program to serious reports of animal abuse.

Often, they can help.

Last year alone, the ACHS provided 1,200 spay/neuter services to cats and dogs, and found “forever homes” for 300 dogs, cats, reptiles, horses, and birds. Every month they handle at least 30 reports of animal abuse and neglect, and coordinate ongoing foster care for 60 cats and dogs.

Even so, longtime ACHS supporter and volunteer Linda Sauer says the ACHS can’t “do it all,” as much as they’d like to.

“I’m not sure that the public is always understanding of that,” Sauer said, noting the public often also doesn’t understand the group is entirely self-funded, operating without the benefit of tax dollars.

“As you can imagine, the costs involved are very high,” ACHS Executive Director Angela Marx said. “We are 100 percent supported by fundraising and grants.”

On Sunday the group marks the 30th anniversary of one of their best loved fundraising events, the annual Garden Tour.

The flyer for the 30th Annual Athens County Humane Society Garden Tour.

The premise is simple: for the price of a ticket, you get a map for a self-guided tour of several gardens, many of which are private and exclusive to the event. Each individual or group moves independently of everyone else taking part, so participants can spend exactly as much time as they’d like at each stop.

The Garden Tour isn’t the only way the ACHS is raising funds Sunday.

They’re also raffling off prize packages, each of them with a distinct theme: bird watching, gardening, an Athens Art Guild package, and a “Treat Yourself” package. Raffle tickets are $10, and can be purchased independently of a Garden Tour ticket.

Marx and Sauer said last year’s Garden Tour raised about $4,000 for the ACHS, making it the most successful Garden Tour in the history of the organization.

The Athens County Humane Society presents their 30th Annual Garden Tour Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tours start at the Athens Community Center (667 East State Street).

Garden Tour tickets are $20, you can buy them at this link or at the Athens Community Center on the day of the event. Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased separately from Garden Tour tickets.