Jan. 4, 2005 On the heels of reaching its goal of 1,000 new members, the Humane Society of St. Thomas has received a new enrollment challenge.
In the last week of 2004, the Humane Society surpassed the enrollment challenge issued in 2002 by Randolph Knight, Knight Quality Stations owner and philanthropist. He pledged $500,000 in matching funds when the Society reached that goal to go toward the society's new Animal Care Campus off the Weymouth Rhymer Highway across from Marketplace East.
Tuesday Knight upped the ante with two new challenges: If a level of 1,500 members is reached by July 31 this year, he will pledge $250,000, and if the Society reaches 2,000 members by Dec. 31, he will pledge an additional $250,000, making his total contribution $1 million.
Knight acknowledged that the 2005 challenges represents a dedicated effort, but he said it can be done and "When it is, we will have succeeded in contributing to the betterment of our community and its animals."
Increased membership was not all on Knight's mind. Along with the construction of the new Animal Care Campus, Knight urged members to support "the re-introduction, passage, and enactment of the animal anti-cruelty legislation."
The legislature passed the animal anti-cruelty bill unanimously in September, but Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, in what came as a shock to animal activists and others, in December vetoed the bill in its entirety. See (See "Turnbull Turns Back Help for Abused Animals").
Knight said, "The 25th Legislature passed this bill on a 15-0 vote, and it was shamefully vetoed by Gov. Turnbull. It should be the mission of every Humane Society member to lobby every single member of the incoming Legislature to prioritize the passage of this critical bill."
Knight said, "We must be proactive in defending the interests of our community's children and animals. That is why our education programs are so vital to the improvement of our social structure. The governor's veto clearly indicates that we must do a far better job in reaching those who fail to understand the obvious relationship between animal and human abuse."
Knight is president of the company which owns three V.I. radio stations: WVWI Radio One AM 1000, WWKS KISS FM 101.3 and 105 JAMZ, WVJZ.
The site for the new campus is on land given to the society by the Lockhart family. The property in Estate Nadir, where the current shelter has sat for decades, was condemned by the V.I. government in 2001 to make way for a federal highway project to link up stretches of road to what is commonly known as "the bridge to nowhere." The move forced the Humane Society to begin the search for a new home. The Lockhart family stepped up with the donation of the property.
To become a member of the Humane Society of St. Thomas, call 775-0599 or go to www.humanesocietyofstthomas.com
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.