For Pet's Sake

July 2022

4th of July Pet Safety Tips
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Enroll Your Furry Babies

1.Go to log in, then sign up for an account.

2. Input your email and a password.

3. Input your name, zip code and phone number.

4. You will then be able to input your pet's name, age, microchip ID (optional, can be added later) and some info about your pet. (Friendly or shy, animal friendly or not, etc.)

5. After you do this, upload each pet's picture. Do each pet one at a time.

This information can be edited anytime. When a pet is lost, he or she can be marked lost.

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Changing of the Guard

Last night we held our Annual General Membership Meeting and elected a new slate of

officers for our Board of Directors. I have been President for the past 18 months and

prior to that, Vice President for 9 months. I must say I was “giddy” with relief when I

woke up yesterday morning. Only those who have been a non-paid President of a Non-

Profit know the commitment required to do that job. It is truly a labor of love. And the

role will take as much of your world as you allow. Especially if your efforts are for our

wonderful and innocent four legged friends.

In the past two years, like everyone else VRHS has dealt with COVID. We have had

two Thrift Store Managers move away from Murphy, leaving a huge void in our

management team. We have seen a tremendous increase of dogs and cats/kittens

enter our shelter doors - 15,000 over the past six years. We continue to struggle with

staffing and volunteer shortages - at both the shelter and thrift store. AND thankfully, we

have increased awareness in the community of these needs and you have responded!

Our shelter has not only been my “labor of love” but the focus of so many in our

community. I do not want to think where we would be without your support - both

financially and through volunteer work.

In that vein, I would like to thank those who stepped up to join our VRHS Board since I

have been in office. Last night I was so wrapped up in my own inner emotions, I failed

to give proper credit to the wonderful people who rescued our VRHS Board last year.

Last year we found ourselves with 4 Board of Directors. Four folks to fill over 10

committee positions. And then these wonderful souls rescued us:

* Lisa Purcel, Head of our Fundraising Committee

* Sherry Raines, Director of our Social Media

* Lorraine Myers, Master of Grant Writing

With these individuals, we were finally able to function as a cohesive group to navigate

out of the COVID haze and get back to work. You have heard it “takes a village”? Well,

it really does. Lord only knows the countless volunteers that assist VRHS in our goal to

help every dog and cat that enters our doors.

As I said, we elected a new Board last night. Let me recognize the exiting BOD before I

provide a new slate of officers.

* Wanda Payne - Treasurer.

Wanda, has been in this position for over 10 years. She has tirelessly maintained

our records, our financial security and peace of mind. This is another thankless

job as she had the task to keep us on budget. Wanda is stepping down from

this position but will continue to volunteer at our Thrift Store.

* Karen Edsell - Secretary

Karen stepped in as Secretary 18 months ago. She never complains and not

only fills this position, she has also volunteered at both the Thrift Store and Shelter.

She works with Dave in donation collections. AND she is on the Fundraising

Committee with me and has stood out in cold, wet weather to gain whatever donations

she could for the shelter. She is just stepping down from the Secretarial position.

*Alex Peers - BOD at Large

Alex has been the Transportation Committee for 18 months keeping our transport

vehicles in safe, operable condition. In addition to that, he tirelessly gets up before

the crack of dawn at least two days of week to transport our animals for spaying and

neutering appointments. This is a five hour round trip. In the cold, dark mornings,

come rain, snow or shine. Alex has resigned from the BOD but will continue to be

one of our dedicated drivers.

We are grateful and thankful to welcome a new slate of officers for the VRHS Board of


* Jim Gerke, President. Since Jim retired a few years ago, he has been an active

volunteer at the shelter in many capacities. Jim and his wife also head up our

Adoption Team.

* Jeff Manson, Vice President. Jeff has volunteered off and on at the shelter for over

six years now. He and his wife managed the Adoption Team in the past. Jeff

served as President in 2020.

* George Lindsey, Treasurer. George moved to Murphy last year and we have been

blessed to have him as an active volunteer at the Shelter. George is a retired CPA

and we are fortunate to have his experience and talents at our disposal.


The candidate for Secretary had to withdraw at the last minute for no fault of her

own. Please contact Jim Gerke at the Shelter (828-837-2304) if you have an interest

in this position.

I am confident our new BOD will pursue the VRHS mission. To provide humane

treatment for every cat and dog that enters our doors and find them a “furever” home!

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you at our Shelter or Thrift Store!

Melody A. Johnson

President, 1/21 - 6/22.

Active Volunteer since 2011

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Working Together to Save Lives

Shelter Dog Transport Alliance

How The Alliance Works

When we first started our transport program, our ultimate aim was to find strength in unity. Many of our rural shelters and rescues shared the same stressors and burdens, so it only made sense to start talking about how we could support each other.

Over the past 2 years I’ve been amazed at how many times a shelter or rescue who isn’t in the best shape, finds out about another shelter in worse shape, and yet still turns around and says...’How can we help’

Last week we ran across this gentle giant at a remote shelter. He had a gaping wound almost to the bone across his entire neck due to a cruel act. Left unattended he would have suffered a horrible ending. Without hesitation one of our alliance shelters said: ‘Bring him here right now’

They took Olaf in, but soon after became critically full with puppies. Struggling to stay afloat, it was now our turn to help them. Immediately we put together an emergency transport and were able to relocate 31 of their pups so they could free up critical space.

This is how the alliance works. When we have extra, we share, when we have need, we ask for help. Nothing’s worse than facing the insurmountable alone—and so we’ll continue to look after each other, fighting the good fight Together.

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Valley River Humane Society Dedication

The VRHS crew of board members, volunteers, supporters and Marie Lampkin's family met on Sunday, June 19th to honor benefactor and long-time supporter Marie Lampkin. Upon her passing Marie's generous donation made way for a much need addition to the shelter, the Special Care Building.


Did you know you can donate directly to VRHS Shelter without leaving your home. From the comfort of you favorite chair you can send much needed supplies via our Amazon Account!
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Become a Member!

In our community, hundreds of animals each year are abandoned, mistreated, or left to fend for themselves. The VRHS offers several different memberships. The fees are used to help keep the doors to our shelter open. Support for our organization comes mostly from private donations from people like you. Your membership fees will help a great deal!

Consider becoming a member…Your gift can provide neglected and abused animals with shelter, food, medical care, kindness, and a chance to find a forever home!


Heidi's Fund

A generous Murphy family comes to the rescue after seeing the edititoral in the August 18, 2021 Cherokee Scout regarding the Valley River Humane Society. The needs at the shelter are great so this family started " Heidi's Fund" for VRHS at United Community Bank in Murphy. Their deposit was for $1000! Their hope is to see this account grow to help the shelter. They are asking local families to donate $10 or more to help the animals at the shelter. Please visit United Community and make your deposit out to VRHS for Heidi's Fund.
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Ongoing Needs at the Shelter & Thrift Store

We need for the Thrift Store (Monday through Saturday, 10-5)


Back room sorters

Showroom workers

We need for the Shelter (Monday through Sunday, never stops as the animals always need care)

Dog Walkers (must be strong)

Kennell Workers (must be strong)

Grounds maintenance


Cat kennel workers

(Volunteers can name their shifts)

Transportation Needs

Drivers for Special Transports to Cleveland TN (cats - only five at a time). You can use your vehicle.

Back up drivers for Asheville Transports

Drivers for Transports to New York

(this is for Cats Only - much easier than transporting dogs)

We have lost some of our volunteers as they have or are going back to Florida. So the need is GREAT!

VRHS Thrift Store Needs

Volunteers needed! This is an easy and rewarding volunteer opportunity. Come by and talk to us.

Over 40% of all expenses for the Shelter are subsidized by the VRHS Thrift Shop! So, every time you donate to or buy something from the Thrift Shop it REALLY helps.

Anytime you clean out your closet, your basement, your attic, or any other area, please bring those things to us you no longer need or want. We can then turn around and resell those things and those proceeds go to helping the animals. Please visit the Thrift Stop often. There are some GREAT bargains and it really helps!

Store Address:

Valley River Humane Society Thrift Store | 1161 U.S. 64, Murphy, NC 28906 | (828) 837-6137

Store Hours:

10:00 AM -5:00 PM Monday thru Saturday

About Us!

A non-profit organization serving Cherokee, Clay and Graham Counties. Our mission is to foster healthy relationships between humans and all living creatures, to prevent animal cruelty and suffering, to find quality home for abandoned pets, and to educate people of all ages about animal needs and the value of responsible pet ownership.

Become a Volunteer

Many people do not realize how vital volunteers are to both VRHS Shelter and the Thrift Store. Please consider being a VOLUNTEER!

For Donations and Adoptions


Valley River Humane Society
PO BOX 658
Murphy, NC 28906


Valley River Humane Society
7450 US 19
Marble, NC 28905
(828) 837-2304


  • Tuesday thru Saturday……11:00 am thru 4:00 pm
  • Sunday and Monday……CLOSED
  • Intakes……Tuesday thru Friday 11:00 am thru 3:00pm
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Keep Me Safe!