“We had really washed our hands of that,” Fox said. “I’ll never say I wasn’t involved, but I realized the dynamics of a negative campaign isn’t going to get you anywhere.”
Instead they envisioned Misty Eyes as being an affirming force willing to work with anyone for the benefit of animals.
“I think that’s worked well for us,” Harlor said. “It creates a positive experience. I don’t think most people want to be around negativity. Those that do kind of stay away from our organization.”
Indeed, they now have about 150 volunteers, with more in the pipeline. Fox says they’re crucial to the operation’s success, and that the burnout rate in work like this is high.
“It can be a very negative environment because you’re kind of seeing the worst of society,” she said. “We want to hang on to these people and have them feel like they’re truly making a difference.”
They’re needed because demand is high. Not only is Misty Eyes adopting out animals from the county shelter, they also accept owner surrenders. However, in March alone they had 74 such cases.
“We get legitimate calls where people really are put in a position where they just can’t keep their pets,” Fox said. “But we also get those people who see us as an easy fix for them, which I try to not let be the case.”
Misty Eyes also works with the Brownsburg Animal Clinic to offer pet health services like basic exams and vaccinations. That part is growing so fast they’re trying to get more such partners involved.
“At this point I’m scheduling out three weeks for some of my spays and neuters,” Fox said. “That kind of need and demand means we need to work together.”