07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Gift of a Home

We always had pets in our home as I was growing up. Whether it was a mutt from the shelter or a stray cat that started sticking around, we constantly maintained a small menagerie.  It was a chance for me, as an only kid, to have a companion and learn to care about something other than myself. When our pets got sick or injured, it was also an opportunity to learn about grief. Mostly it was a chance to receive the kind of unconditional love that only a pet can provide.

From Liberty Humane Society (NJ) site.
Now a confession – I cry whenever a Humane Society, ASPCA, or PETA commercial comes on television. My husband rushes to flip the channel the minute he catches a glimpse of a sad little furry face staring out from between the bars of a cage. He’s usually not fast enough, and I insist that he leave the commercial to run. It’s not that I’m particularly fond of blubbering over the television. It’s that I don’t want to forget that everywhere at any time there are animals in need.

Recently, a story in my local news grabbed my attention. Some numbskull (that’s my nice name for the offender) decided they’d had enough of their cat and threw her over a highway overpass. However, her nimble coordination allowed her to grab onto one of those big green highway signs and find a place to sit, just balanced on the scaffolding below the structure. The poor thing sat there for two days until someone spotted her and the local animal control rescued her. After a bit of TLC at a shelter, Freeway, as the shelter named her, is now available for adoption by a loving family.

From Portsmouth, VA Humane Society site.
Animals can’t ask for help, and they are usually stoical in the face of pain and neglect. Yes, they require care and feeding, but they return good care and affection a thousand-fold. If helping animals is your charity of choice, there are many ways to give. You can donate money to the biggies like World Wildlife Fund, your state or local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). You can also donate money to your local shelter or Humane Society.

If it’s a financial burden to donate money, consider donating your time. Most local shelters and humane societies welcome volunteers and will provide training for such work. This kind of donation usually involves helping to socialize the shelter animals, so you’ll get to spend lots of rewarding time with pets who need your love and attention. Some no kill shelters also need foster families who are willing to take up-for-adoption pets home until they can find their forever family.

From Liberty Humane Society page - New Jersey
For an animal in need, there is no greater gift you can give than the gift of a home. If you or your family is
considering a new pet, consider your local shelter or pet refuge. Fees for adoption are usually affordable and go to support other animals in need. Often the cost of spaying or neutering is included in the adoption fee. While there are usually kittens and puppies available at shelters now and then, don't forget the animals that are bit older who really need a second chance. Unbelievably, some folks actually take pets to the shelter or abandon them once they’ve passed that cute puppy stage or grown larger than the owner expected.

Have you given a home or donated your time/money to animals in need?


Sarah Raplee said...

Great post, Christy!

Our German shorthair, Penny, is a rescue dog. Many people get German shorhairs without truly understanding how much exercise they need in order to avoid behaviour problems.She'd had four other homes before we adopted her.

Penny is the most loving, intelligent, well-behaved pet anyone could ask for. We've had her for almost seven years now. She was two when we adopted her.

Our cat, Freckles, is also a rescue - thanks to the generous support Pet Smart gives to homeless animals. Like Penny, Freckles is a wonderful pet, loving and playful - and a good mouser. He's an indoor cat, but caught mice twice that snuck in from the garage!

I hope your post inspires others to adopt rescue animals.

Christy Carlyle said...

Thanks, Sarah! Me too.

We have two shelter cats, Finn and Lucy, at the moment that were found, alone and motherless, as six week old kittens. Sadly, no one seemed to know what happened to the mom, dad, or any other potential litter mates.

They are THE sweetest cats I have ever adopted. I only went in for the girl kitten, but I couldn't leave her brother behind. Adopting litter mates has so many benefits. These two rely on each other in so many ways, and I think they adapted more quickly because they got to stick together.

If I could convince my husband, I'd head to the shelter to pick up another dog or cat tonight. :)

Thanks for your comment, Sarah.

Diana Mcc. said...

All our cats and dogs have been rescue animals. Well, either rescue or they just showed up at the door. We don't have any pets right now. We're retired and like to travel and do things outside the home. My mom lives with us and is 87 years old. I wouldn't feel right putting that responsibility on her if we were traveling. Plus, at her age she can't afford to trip over a rambunctious dog or cat. If we ever get another dog or cat it would definitely be a rescue animal.Great post!

Christy C said...

Thanks, Diana!

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Christy,

My last dog, Duke, came to me through the Oregon Humane Society. I'd been driving down I-5 late at night in a storm and about drove off the road when I thought I saw a dog sitting on the hood of my car! I had dreams about this dog for several nights and decided it was a message - I went looking and just as I was about to leave OHS I happened to glance to my right and there he was, pressed against the bars.
He wasn't jumping and barking but he looked at me with such intensity! Well, I read all about him and figured the only negative trait was he didn't like cats. I was okay with that.
He was an exceptional dog who gave us many years of love and devotion, let my granddaughters learn about 'eyes', 'ears', and 'teeth' as well as 'tail'. He was a 'pillow' to both of them and one of my favorite pictures (next to my computer) is of my youngest granddaughter snuggled up to him.
When he got older (he was 2.5 when adopted), he'd just get up and move if they bothered him.
Although it's been 10 years since he went to doggie heaven, I'm still not ready to add another pet to my life. When I do, I'll certainly get a rescue dog...