Petoberfest kicks off

Hinsdale Humane Society puts the fun in fundraising with monthlong campaign

The Hinsdale Humane Society invites the community to carve out a little time this fall to aid homeless animals.

Roving Petoberfest is a series of fun events planned by the organization throughout the month to boost support as funding struggles to keep pace with the increasing rescue animal population.

Robin Carroll, the humane society's marketing and public relations director, said the hope behind the effort is to give current and prospective donors special gatherings to enjoy, like the Chili Cook-Off this Sunday, Oct. 9 at the Tuthill Pet Rescue and Resource Center, 21 Salt Creek Lane (see sidebar for event details).

"Maybe we can attract some men to come hang out with us for an afternoon," Carroll commented, making a point to note the Bears game will be shown on the big screens.

Then on Tuesday, Oct. 11, both two-legged and four-legged representatives of the humane society will be at Milk Money Brewing in La Grange to introduce animals to guests on the outdoor patio, with a percentage of the day's proceeds going to the agency.

A similar event also will be held Friday, Oct. 28 at Dry City Brew Works in Wheaton. Carroll said this kind of outreach spreads awareness and expands the donor base in places where the humane society already provides service.

"We've got like 12 stray contracts with different villages," she explained. "We're trying to do everything we can to reach new audiences, so this event allows us to go into La Grange and Elmhurst and Wheaton and say, 'We need your help.' "

The pandemic, among other factors, has created the perfect storm for pet rescue agencies across the country, including the Hinsdale Humane Society.

"We've got the double whammy of animal shelters being in crisis everywhere" due to an overabundance of rescue pets, Carroll said, "and on the flip side we've got recession and inflation and donations that are dwindling."

Whereas demand for dogs spiked at the start of COVID, now cat adoptions are skyrocketing, Carroll reported.

"Our numbers are crazily skewed right now," she said.

And with October being Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, the time seems right to restore balance by letting people and families meet some of the shelter's charming residents.

Those who do lean feline will want to check out The Paws & Pumpkins Cat Café on Saturday, Oct. 22, offering a seasonal take on the popular event.

"People love to come and play with the cats," Carroll said.

In addition to these one-time gatherings, the humane society is holding an online auction through Oct 26, a cash raffle through Oct. 30 and a pet photo contest on Facebook, with voting from Oct. 24-31.

"We're trying to shake things up, trying some new things in an effort to reach a bigger audience with our message to help people understand what's going on in animal welfare right now and why it's so critical to have their support and their attention," Carroll said. "Instead of us just asking for donations, here are some fun things you can get involved with, enjoy and nice evening out, and the money comes back to help us."

She cited the monthly veterinarian service the humane society offers as well as its pet food pantry and vaccine clinics for those in need as programs that also benefit from the gifts.

"We're really trying to give back to the community in the places that we can," Carroll said.

She shared a couple of the countless stories of dogs and cats left for dead and given new life through the humane society.

"It's just really cool to be a part of those stories and make a difference in the lives of pets that can't speak up for themselves," Carroll said. "This is the time to help, if you were ever compelled to help animals."

Visit or call (630) 323-5630 for more information.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean