Now that we have finally gotten out of one of the worst years in modern history, I can only hope that we have not set our hopes too high for the new year. As with all great challenges, we have a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of negativity to put behind us. Working in an animal shelter gives you a lot of practice in that endeavor; there’s always a mountain of work yet to be done and many disappointments to learn from and get past.
On a grand scale we have a colossal threat to our health and a tremendous political divide to overcome, which will require all of us to be a little more careful and a little more tolerant. It’s a pretty tall order and quite mind boggling, really. It does, however, give perspective to our problems of a lesser scale. Sometimes, throwing yourself into managing the small stuff ends up helping you get through the worst of things, that’s basically what we do every single day here at the shelter.
One dog, one cat, one kitten, one puppy at a time; we work to make sure that an animal never suffers privation or pain or a lack of love and care ever again. Thank goodness, in the vast majority of cases, we are successful; but there’s still much to be done.
So on behalf of the shelter, here are two high priorities on our list of things to improve for 2021.
There are two things we struggle the most with in shelters all over the country, feral cats and Pit Bulls. We, as a society, fail these two groups in a big way, but we have made progress and we all have the power to do small things to help them.
The first thing to recognize is that feral cats and Pit Bulls are not the problem; people and the way they handle them are. It was humans that specifically bred cats to be domestic animals and then abandoned them in the wild. It was humans that specifically bred dogs that with a high prey drive that would fight for sport and entertainment.
Sadly, the majority of animals that end up in shelters are from these two groups and are the most likely to face euthanasia. Putting animals to sleep is not the answer, it’s sad, unnecessary and quite frankly, a cop out when spaying and neutering is such an obvious and attainable alternative.
Our mantra here at the shelter is GIVE, GET or GET BUSY:
- GIVE a donation to your local shelter or rescue group to help provide free or low cost spay and neuter surgeries.
- GET donations of support items for nutrition, shelter and comfort items needed by these animals and provide them to groups or individuals that care for them.
- GET BUSY volunteering in the plethora of opportunities that come with rescuing and supporting homeless animals. Walk a shelter dog, help with Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return efforts in your community, work at an adoption event, post shelter animals on your social media pages…the possibilities go on and on. You may have a particular skill set like carpentry, data entry or photography that would lend much needed support to shelters and rescue groups. No matter what you choose to do or give, it is greatly appreciated.
Shelter needs: Fancy Feast canned kitten food, canned dog food, cat litter, bully sticks for dogs, hot dogs, real cheese slices, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.
To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org