The world of animal sheltering today is very different than the one I entered 30 years ago. An incredible amount of progress has been made in the way our society views pets and their place in our lives. They’ve become true members of our families, they are much more likely to live inside our homes as opposed to being outside pets, often chasing us off our own comfy chairs and sofas so that they can occupy the best seats in the house.
As a shelter worker, I have seen the very best and the very worst in the way we humans treat our pets. I am thankful every day for all the happy endings, always rewarded to be stopped in the supermarket or the hardware store and told the tale of a successful adoption or rescue. I try very hard to keep those stories in the forefront of my mind when the bad stuff happens.
We have so many more resources available now for shelter pets with special needs than we ever did in years past. There all sorts of rescue organizations that are often willing to take on homeless pets that are suffering from medical conditions that are outside of means to treat. Things such as broken bones, Feline AIDS, neurological issues, etc., used to be an automatic death sentence in shelters all across the country. Now, because of your support, we are most often able to provide initial assistance and then find rescue groups that will provide continuing treatment and eventually adopt them out. It’s truly a wonderful thing to see so many pets that have suffered terrible sickness or injury get a second chance.
We have one little guy, though, that is breaking our hearts. “Liam” came to us as a stray from Salem County. It appears that he might be a Schnauzer mix with his beautiful charcoal gray coat. When you look at him, you know that something’s is not quite right but it’s hard to put your finger on it when his coat is full. Take a closer look though and you’ll see that he has a large growth on the right side of his face. The veterinary examination showed that the tumor is pushing into his sinus cavity and the hard pallet of his mouth. He is only about two years old. He is happy, playful and loves everybody. His treatment? Put him in hospice care and keep him comfortable.
Life has dealt him a lousy hand, but at least now he is being cared for, he is adored, and he will be for all the time he has left.
As we head into the holiday season, we want to thank those of you who help support us in providing care for so many needy pets. It’s important to take time to reflect on all the successes, even if it’s just knowing you’ve done everything you could.