The Ogemaw County Humane Society was the idea of Greg Clark, an Ogemaw County Animal Control Officer. At the time, dogs were shipped to the Arenac Dog Shelter and cats were not accepted at all. Greg proposed building an animal shelter in Ogemaw County to house stray and unwanted dogs and cats and to have an adoption process in place. The first meeting was held in November 1999. A name was chosen, officers were designated, and a logo was designed. The Ogemaw County Humane Society was born! In April 2000, we became a 501©3 non profit corporation and Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws were written.
Fundraisers to build the building were planned. The first fundraiser was a Bake Sale, earning $395 in sales and $167 in donations. Many more fundraisers followed, including craft shows, wine & cheese parties, rummage sales, quilt raffles and food raffles. For pets, family and friends there were Pictures with Santa and Pictures with the Easter Bunny. Other ways of earning funds was, and still is, small doghouses in businesses around the county to put change and dollar bills in. Bigger doghouses were built for bottle and can return deposits. Tabs removed from cans provide additional funds. In addition, there were, and still are, grants and donations from individuals and businesses
In September of 2003, a three acre parcel was purchased on M-33 in Ogemaw County, centrally located for everyone. In September, 2007 we contracted with the Ogemaw Heights High School Building Trades students, teachers and local contractors to build the shelter. The building was named for two veterinarians, a father and son, who practiced in the county, and is known as the Dr. H.E. Rea & Dr. Robert C. Rea Memorial Animal Shelter.
On June 14, 2009, a day long waited for, the doors of the Ogemaw County Humane Society were opened.
Many people, near and far, gave their time and money to make the Ogemaw County Humane Society the reality it is today. Thank you to everyone, and to the people who volunteer and give the dogs and cats a special home at the shelter before going to their furever home and family.
Please know that The Ogemaw County Humane Society is not run by the county, however, we have entered into a contract (appropriation) with the county to accept the stray dogs within our county. “Without this appropriation” we cannot accept strays into our facility. As of October 1, 2016, we no longer have our contract with the county as our funding has been cut. We cannot accept strays at all. We are still accepting owner surrenders if we have space. Please call for more information. Your donations are needed more than ever to help care for and rehome the animals that we currently have. Did you know that spending time caring for animals helps to lower blood pressure, helps with mental illness, and teaches what it means to give back to the community? Volunteers are always needed. You will get happy tail wags, purring, and kisses in return! The best therapy anybody could ask for!
“Even a penny donation is more than we had.”
How did the shelter get its name…
NAME: Dr. H.E. Rea & Dr. Robert C. Rea Ogemaw County Humane Society
Written by Nancy Griffin
Dr. Herbert E. Rea was the first veterinarian in West Branch and Ogemaw County. He was born in 1887 and graduated from Toronto College of Veterinary Medicine in 1902. He moved to West Branch soon after where he married a local girl in 1906. They had two children, Ethel Lee and Robert Charles.
Doc Rea’s practice consisted mostly of large animals (horses and cows). He often went out West and bought horses. He would rail them to West Branch where he would then sell them His granddaughters Nancy (Rea) Griffin and Sally Rea still remember the horses their grandfather would bring to West Branch. In fact, when he returned from one trip he gave the girls a painted pony they named Pecos.
Dr. Robert C. Rea (also known as Doc Rea) lived in West Branch his entire life and graduated from West Branch High School in 1931. He enrolled at Michigan State College earning his degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1935. He returned to West Branch and joined his father in the veterinary business. When he retired 44 years later his practice consisted mostly of small animals.
Dr. H.E. Rea and Dr. Robert C. Rea provided 89 years of service to Ogemaw County. In honor of their dedication to our community the Ogemaw County Humane Society dedicated the animal shelter in their names when it opened in June 2009. Now you know the rest of the story!