“Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, never had a dog,” has been attributed to actress Mae West, but could just as easily be a quote from Nelda Luce Blair. As President of the board for the Humane Society of Montgomery County (HSMC), Nelda is able, in turn, to be a great friend to many area dogs and cats.
Locally born and raised, Nelda has always been involved with the animal shelter, first serving as a member of their board of directors in the late 1980s. At various times since its founding in 1972 for “the prevention of cruelty of animals,” HSMC has acted as a rescue, operated the animal shelter, and offered spay/neuter programs. Five years ago, Nelda once again accepted a board position as the organization revamped their focus. With the “Same Mission, New Vision” rebranding, HSMC now works to promote animal welfare by assisting other nonprofit groups with their extraordinary needs.
“It’s a great way for everyone to better work together and help the rescues get the things they otherwise might not be able to access,” she said. “With our funding, we’re able to help with bigger ticket items.”
For example, this past July, HSMC provided $35,000 to Montgomery County Animal Services to cover the cost of flying 100 dogs to a mega adoption event in Philadelphia. Another 100 dogs will be transported there in vehicles, according to Live Release Manager Courtney Gawel. The annual event will result in homes for more than 1,000 cats and dogs arriving from across the country and has been the model for mega adoption events in Houston as well.
“This is so important,” Nelda said. “It helps with the overpopulation at our shelter while moving dogs to an area where people are begging for pets. I’m so thrilled we have the funds to do this for the second year and make a real impact.”
Her volunteer position with the Montgomery County Community Foundation is another way in which she is able to make a difference in the lives of our community, including the four-legged members. A grant to the Lone Star Animal Welfare League (LSAWL) allowed them to forward their mission to spay/neuter, vaccinate and chip pets in need. “We need to continue educating the community about how spaying, neutering and vaccinating will make our pets and our community healthier,” said Laura McConnell, President of LSAWL.
AniMeals, an extension of Meals on Wheels, provides food for over 300 cats and dogs belonging to homebound seniors each month. The program is fully reliant on donations, which during the pandemic, almost completely dried up. HSMC through Nelda donated enough pet food to cover the program’s needs for a year.
“I’ve always had a special connection with all animals,” she said. “They are God’s creatures, and it is one of my main purposes in this life to care for them.” That purpose is also Nelda Luce Blair’s passion and, ultimately, a real source of “paws-itivity.”
The Montgomery County Humane Society offers a number of ways to support their efforts to keep pets and animals loved. Visit their website at www.montgomeryhumane.com for a complete list of ways to help.