By: Cassie Dorony—
Muncie, IN—Being a part of the Ball State construction management program means we participate in many competition teams. My team is currently in the ELECTRI Green Energy Challenge. For this competition, we had to find a non-profit organization in Muncie. We went on a long search and finally found one that suited what we needed.
Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) is a no kill, non-profit animal shelter located in Muncie, IN. For the competition, we had to assess their current energy usage and give them suggestions on how to make it better. Throughout the semester, along with working with ARF, the team had the opportunity to work with NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) contractors. This opportunity provided the team with knowledge and real-world experience to better finish the proposal.
ARF has been around since June of 1998. It was founded by Terri Panszi. At first, she took on most of the business by herself. She used her own funds to rent a small building to house 20-30 animals. She did everything for the animals and even handled the adoptions and fundraising. Since then, ARF has expanded both their facilities and their employees. It now consists of three main buildings: the adoption center, catty shack, and the administration building. The adoption center houses the dogs for adoption and their full-time dogs. As they are a no kill shelter, they keep some dogs full-time and make ARF their new home. The catty shack houses the cats that are up for adoption. This can house up to 50 cats at a time. The administration building is where guests can make donations, pay for adoptions, get assistance completing and submitting vouchers for the SNSI (Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana, Inc.) SNAP (Spay-Neuter Assistance Program), and surrender animals.
ARF strives to help their community and the animals in it. They assist low-income pet owners with completing and submitting SNSI vouchers for low cost SNAP. They give homes to homeless animals on the streets and then give families a loving pet. Because of their contribution to the community, the community has helped them out. All their buildings were donated by a very generous donor. This means that they can stay on their property rent free and only pay for utilities, and buildings and grounds maintenance. In addition, they always have a handful of volunteers to help with the animals and the facility. Anyone is welcome to join. Throughout our experience with them, we put in a wide variety of volunteering time. We helped with the animals, fixed up the property a bit, and cleaned the dog kennels. We went out to the facility at least once a week and did whatever was needed. Sometimes this consisted of just playing with the dogs, but they need that kind of attention to make sure they’re ready for a home.
While the semester is not over yet, as we finish up our proposal, the team is thankful for ARF’s cooperation and the valuable information we have received from our NECA contractors. Knowing that we bettered our community really made this competition important to us. Although no one on the team is originally from Muncie, it is our home away from home.