Sometimes, a shelter or rescue is funded by a city or county government through taxes and fees collected and designated for animal control. Some shelters are funded and supported by a larger organization (like ASPCA or Best Friends). We’re neither of those.
Last week’s Pet Column told the story of a group of dogs who needed to be removed from the property where they were living. There were over thirty dogs, and many of them were unsocialized and had health issues. The positive outcome for these dogs was made possible by cooperation between shelters and rescues across the state. In writing that, we wondered about the terms “shelter” and “rescue”. Aren’t they the same thing?
Sometimes animal rescue partners help each other to help the pets we serve. Sometimes that just means talking through our challenges, taking in transfers from each other, or sharing good ideas.
Occasionally, there are more urgent situations where we pull together to do what is needed. Last month, such a situation here on the western slope required shelters and rescues from across the state to work as a team. With populations at or near capacity in most shelters, this story is a testament to the hearts of shelter people.
Mascara. Shampoo. Perfume. Laundry Detergent. Oven Cleaner. Yes, these products might help us look and feel prettier and make our house shiny and clean. But, did you realize there is a very ugly side to some of these products? Yes, I’m talking about animal testing.
A few Pet Columns ago, a shelter cat named Wendy wrote about Pandemic Pet Surrenders. Although we haven’t seen surrenders directly attributed to the pandemic, we do see a lack of pet-friendly housing and economic factors taking their toll.
In any surrender, it’s assumed that pets are being given up on. Maybe you think they’re pets who are too high energy, too much work, or that could no longer be cared for. However, when you see my friends come into Second Chance, it is a different story.
Believe it or not, there are people who willingly spend time cleaning litter boxes, teaching rambunctious puppies good manners, holding cats during medical procedures, walking dogs, teaching frightened cats to trust people, scooping dog poop, bottle feeding tiny kittens every few hours, reading with pets and kids at schools, and holding leashes at adoption events. Oh, and they don’t get paid (unless you count tail wags, puppy kisses, or purrs). These are the noble, loving, generous species known as volunteers. They come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and talents, but they all have one thing in common. They want to make the world a better place- one pet at a time.
Spring is a joyful time- flowers blooming, grass growing, warm days outdoors. For those in animal rescue, it can be stressful. It’s commonly known as the start of kitten season. Spring is the time of year when animals reproduce. For cats, though, it is just the start as they can keep on reproducing, having litter after litter, right up until the weather turns cold again. In our area, kitten season starts in early spring and lasts until fall.
In the human world, there are entire fields of research dedicated to making mobility and communication easier for those who have challenges. From titanium prosthetic limbs to technology that helps hearing impaired people, it’s a dynamic and ever-changing world.