Unleash Your Heart for the Love of Paws
Celebrating 111 years of saving lives
and completing families!
The event may be virtual, but its proceeds will provide very real compassionate care for the pets and people counting on us!
Through adoption and its Highway to Home Program the GMHS team of experts finds loving homes for the hundreds of pets that come through its doors annually. The GMHS Fixin’ to Save Spay-Neuter Clinic will have altered 3,900 animals in 2022; its volunteer-based foster program nurtures hundreds of pets until they are ready to be adopted. Through outreach and the Pet Pantry, GMHS offers lifelong support to ensure pets and their people stay together no matter what tough times they face.
Whatever the challenges ahead may be, GMHS is here to help. So, please join us on this journey by investing in pets and the future of animal welfare in our community.
The Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society’s
‘For the Love of Paws’
$100k $110,000 Matching Gift Challenge!
Between December 10, 2022, and January 31, 2023, GMHS seeks to raise
$100,000 $110,000 in monetary donations to unlock the life-saving power of this matching gift.
(The anonymous supporter who offered GMHS $100,000, if it matches it by January 31, is so impressed with how you’ve been responding . . . he has ‘Upped the Ante’ and is making it $110,000!)
The GMHS team hopes this matching gift will inspire you to Unleash Your Heart for the Love of Homeless Pets, knowing your contribution will be doubled.
Monetary donations made to GMHS dated between December 10, 2022 and January 31, 2023, will be doubled up to $
100,000 $110,000 Donations may be made by clicking on the donate button on this site, or by phone (804-693-5520), mail (P.O. Box 385, Gloucester, VA 23061), or via PayPal on www.gmhumanesociety.org.
GMHS’ animal welfare programs and services, help thousands of pets and families each year. GMHS is neither affiliated with any national animal welfare organizations nor receives funding from the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States.
GMHS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our tax ID# is 51-0206238. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
GMHS is Proud to Honor and Thank
Lizz Lester, who has
‘Unleashed Her Heart’
for the ‘Love of Paws’ for Over 28 Years!
Photo of Lizz & Jerry Lester
Lizz Lester joins the ranks of a select few as this year’s GMHS Humane Hero because homeless pets and all who know her agree that whenever things look impossible for them -- their friend Lizz will never be caught not trying to help!
In 1993, Lizz and Jerry Lester moved from Long Island, NY to Virginia -- first stop, Williamsburg for about a year, and then on to Middlesex – and that’s when GMHS gained a great supporter!
“Lizz wasn’t a stranger to helping save animals,” says her friend Lona Trebour. “She had volunteered at and still financially supports ‘The Little Shelter’ in Huntington, Long Island, and soon after arriving here, she began volunteering at the old GMHS Shelter on Rangtang Road, where she did just about anything that was needed.” When the Rangtang Shelter was ‘retired,’ and the new one could not yet accept cats, Lizz found foster homes for dozens and dozens of them. Two of those ‘temporary’ foster kitties are still with Lizz and Jerry -- living the good life in a lovely finished basement with their very own TV!
Former Shelter Manager, Bonnie Ellen recounted that following the worst snowstorm of the decade -- when almost no one could get out -- Lizz beat her to Rangtang Road! Lizz got in her truck and drove from Middlesex to Gloucester to make sure all the shelter animals got fed! -- Lizz and Bonnie were among the few people on the roads that day!
Lizz and Jerry have always had cats at home, but her passion is to help the forgotten animals – feral cats. You might recognize her as the woman in front of a store loading her pickup with food, bedding and supplies that she personally purchases or gets donated for the feral cat communities. But, you probably don’t know that she has given every cat in her feral colonies what her friend Lona calls a “Lizz” name, or that she weeps over the loss of any of them.
One-by-one, she has trapped or helped trap our area’s ferals to get them spayed or neutered. She trudges through all kinds of weather to see that these animals get food, water, and have shelter during hurricanes, ice and snowstorms, or during oppressive heat waves! Should temperatures drop below freezing, she even brings them warm water so they have something to drink before it freezes!
You also might not know how doggedly she advocates for them…including ‘negotiating’ with building contractors to shift the sites of their equipment storage so it doesn’t interfere with ‘her’ ferals, or ‘bargaining’ with builders to give her time to move a colony!
Lizz's animal advocacy doesn't stop with cats. She's the first to donate to help any homeless animal. She has served many terms on the GMHS Board, and Development Committee, and worked tirelessly on the GMHS Capital Campaign Committee as well as on the Building Committee to help design the Shelter on Jackson Lane.
She’s never shy about asking someone to help homeless pets -- whether it be for a financial donation, or a donation for the GMHS auction! And, you’ve seen Lizz at all of the fundraisers for the Society. Setting up and manning GMHS booths at ‘Wings & Wheels,’ ‘Mathews Market Days,’ the Gloucester Christmas and Daffodil Parades -- selling raffle tickets and imparting information about the Society’s work. She’s been GMHS’s secret weapon when it comes to working on and decorating the venues of the Society’s annual auctions, oyster roasts, and its former fashion shows!
Lizz Lester may be considered a ‘come here,’ to Virginia, but if you ask anyone at GMHS or for that matter, anyone who has ever met her – she is a ‘keeper!’