Friends of the Shelter launches capital campaign

May 7—GREENSBURG — Friends of the Greensburg-Decatur County Animal Shelter, a 501c3 formed July 2023, has launched a capital campaign to raise enough funding to move the shelter into a larger facility.

The animal shelter's current building is 2,400 square feet and, according to Chris Ramey, founder and president of Friends of the Shelter and Minde Myers, shelter director, they have run out of space.

There's no area to fully quarantine an animal when that's needed; quarantined animals typically end up in the outdoor kennel area if they are dogs. While the shelter recently added a surgical room, it's smaller and currently only offers services for shelter-owned animals, something Myers has indicated they would like to change.

Ramey said there are other services that could be provided if the shelter had more space, including a designated area for prospective adopters to meet an animal, something he says is important. Currently, prospective adopters must either meet with the animal in the kennels or meet them outdoors, potentially in rain or snow.

"There's nowhere where adopters can sit down and actually get to know that animal," Ramey said.

Ramey provided a hypothetical example of an adoption situation without a designated space to meet an animal, "I go back and say, 'Oh, I'm interested," in a dog and the dog is brought out. That dog "is listening to all the dogs bark and this dog has a toy, this dog has food, and [the dog] isn't paying attention to me. So my first thought is, 'This dog's crazy! He won't calm down. I don't want this dog.'"

Another example of why an area for prospective adopters to meet an animal is crucial is when adopters have pets who need to meet a dog or cat before making a decision.

"A family had two dogs, and part of the adoption process" requires the dogs be introduced to each other. "The problem is, there's no space in the office. There's no space back here to introduce those dogs. They had to go outside in the rain. So, they had their two dogs and the new dog [meeting] each other out in the rain. It's not fair to the animal, and I think we'll see adoption rates go up if we have a nicer facility."

Increasing adoption rates is important, as one of Myers' biggest goals is to make the Greensburg-Decatur County Animal Shelter a no-kill facility — no-kill meaning a 90% save rate. The shelter's save rate has improved considerably in recent months and they seldom need to euthanize for space thanks to foster homes, coordinating with other shelters and rescues, and collaborating with the Best Friends Animal Society to promote adoptable animals.

Grants are a component of raising funds and one of the reasons Friends of the Shelter formed.

"I'm the grant writer here," Ramey explained, "and we had noticed there were" many grants available for 501c3 non-profits. While the shelter itself isn't a 501c3, Friends of the Shelter was able to form as a 501c3 and act as a support organization. "Our main goal and vision," Ramey said, "is to provide support for the shelter. That could be through education, applying for grants, bringing in additional funding, working with the shelter to advance their goals and mission. We're not a management arm, just the support."

Friends of the Shelter is behind many of the fundraising events coming up this year. They're also working with the shelter to create blessing boxes for pet items, such as food — another need Myers has seen increase in Decatur County.

Friends of the Shelter, according to Ramey, wants to bring the shelter back to the forefront.

"The shelter, I think, sometimes gets forgotten about. Our goal is to make it something that people realize" is needed in the community and really shed a light on the shelter and its accomplishments, Ramey said.

Friends of the Shelter has an eight-member board composed of founder and President Chris Ramey, Vice-President Michelle Ostendorf, Treasurer Jennifer Moore, Secretary CarolAnn Wood, Shelter Liason Minde Myers, Melanie Nobbe, Cindy Moton and Larami Vailes.

Those wishing to volunteer, donate or otherwise assist the Greensburg-Decatur County Animal Shelter can message the shelter on Facebook at or Friends of the Shelter at The shelter can also be reached at or 812-663-9081. Friends of the Shelter can be contacted at 812-593-6537 or