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DAVENPORT — If you missed the chance to order a “We Love Gays & Strays” shirt, the Humane Society of Scott County is offering a second chance.

“We sold 130 shirts our first round, and we keep getting questions about them, so we decided to open the store up for one final round,” the nonprofit wrote in a July 2 Facebook post. The shirts raise money for both the Humane Society, and Clock Inc. LGBT Center in Rock Island, Ill.

The shirts are available in five colors, and four styles, including short-sleeved tees, tank tops, sweat shirts, and hoodies. You can order a shirt at the Humane Society’s online store through July 16. They were first introduced during the Pride month of June.

“All of us at Clock are thrilled to hear that the Humane Society’s ‘We love Strays & Gays’ shirts have been a huge success,” said Chase Norris, Clock’s executive director and founder.  “It is always amazing to see so much support from those in the LGBT+ community and our Allies, especially during these frustrating times.”

Bond between companion animals and LGBTQ people is extra meaningful

The connection between LGBTQ people and the Humane Society’s mission of finding homes for companion animals is real. More studies are showing a connection between stress relief provided by animals, and the heightened anxiety often experience by “sexual and gender minorities.” Those studies include one by Virginia Commonwealth University that shows 75 percent of LGBTQ youth find comfort and stress relief through companion animals.

The same extra meaningfulness holds true for older LGBT adults, according to a 2018 study. It showed that more LGBT adults age 50 and over who owned pets felt strong social support, than those who did not own pets.

Humane Society of Scott County selling We Love Strays and Gays shirts

Staffers with the Humane Society of Scott County model their “I Love Strays & Gays” shirts, to benefit the Humane Society and Clock Inc. LGBT Community Center.

QueerBio also points out that the first-ever animal welfare organizations were founded by an Irish lesbian. Frances Power Cobbe. Cobbe founded the National Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1875 and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898, creating the foundation for today’s animal welfare and rights movement.

Cobbe also helped found the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1878, that granted women the right to divorce their husbands for infidelity, writes the Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE).

Humane Society also offering discounted adoption fees through July

Another effort the Humane Society is undertaking: the nationwide “Empty the Shelters” event with 300 other shelters. Through July 31, adoption fees for cats and dogs are only $50. Adoptees can also receive 30 days of free pet health insurance through the program, writes Our Quad Cities.