Local metal band shows soft spot for animals with donation

Karen McGuire and Jennifer Michaels, board members of the Athens County Humane Society, accept a check on behalf of the organization from guitarist Scott Hedrick and vocalist Chance Garnette of the Athens metal band Skeletonwitch. The money was raised from a special limited-edition release of the band’s third album Forever Abomination. (William Hoffman | For The Post)

 The satanic image of Athens metal band Skeletonwitch might evoke the image of hardened rockers, but when it comes to animals, the group has a soft spot. 

With a comically large check in hand, the band stopped by The Import House, 68 N. Court St. to give two employees and Athens Humane Society board members Karen McGuire and Jennifer Michaels a check for $2,100. 

“We have more than a dozen animals between us,” said guitarist Scott Hedrick. “We wanted the money to go to a cause we believed in.” 

The band’s record label, Prosthetic Records, approached the band about reprinting the group’s Billboard charting third album Forever Abomination in 180-gram vinyl, and the band agreed on the caveat that all the money go to a charity of its choice. 

“Putting out the same thing but in a different jacket, we didn’t want it to be some d--k move,” said Chance Garnet, vocalist for the band. “The money can go further helping out these organizations than it can divided by five and going in our pocket, it seemed like something we believed in and something we thought we could make some small difference in homeless pets’ lives.”

Despite hitting international fame among metal heads, the group still lives in and is based out of Athens and Columbus area, which is why Hedrick said they wanted to give back to the community they came from. 

Only 100 copies of the limited edition vinyl were put up for sale online, and sold out in about three minutes, Hedrick said. 

The total amount accumulated to $4,200 and was split 50/50 with the Columbus organization Pets Without Parents and the Athens Humane Society. The band’s money is in addition to a recent trust fund from Betty Peterson, an Athens resident.  

“Because of this money, we are able to give $10 spay and neuters to community members for cats,” McGuire said. “I think the money they contributed will cover medical costs for some of the cats in our adoption program, and help us to continue this low cost spay and neuters for the community.” 

The Humane Society doesn’t have a fixed location, so they rely on community members and businesses to foster the pets until they are adopted. 

Michaels said they did more than 100 adoptions last year, largely due to PetSmart housing 16 of the society’s cats until they could be adopted. 

McGuire and Michaels stressed the importance of having cats spayed and neutered because an unspayed female cat, her mate and her offspring producing two litters per year can have an exponential effect on the stray cat community in Athens, producing 2,107 cats in just 4 years if gone unchecked. 

“Everyone’s level of involvement in animal rights might vary to an extent, whether you eat meat or not it depends how far you take it,” Hedrick said. 

@wilbur_hoffman
wh092010@ohiou.edu

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