What happens in our Shelter every day, 365 days a year?
FROM THE ELMORE COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY
After our creatures have been cleaned up, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and generally recovered from any bad health issues they may have had, the public sees them on the internet and in our adoptable pets. What the general public does not witness is the day-to-day labor our staff does to help so many dogs recover from neglect, malnutrition, illness, injuries, and other forms of cruelty that may have occurred for a long time before they arrived at our facility.
We probably have a few pets recovering from neglect and illnesses like mange, lung infections, severe flea and tick infestations, intestinal parasites, and inadequate nutrition in any given week. Acute injuries in pets are not commonplace, necessitating fast visits to local vets for diagnosis and treatment. We always seem to have dogs having heartworm treatment, with upwards of 10 in need right now. Because long-term neglect cannot be 'fixed' overnight, it is not uncommon for us to have held a pet for a month or more before it is recovered and ready for adoption.
External and internal parasite infestations (fleas, ticks, roundworms, hookworms, and so on) can make pets anemic and feeble due to blood loss. Young animals are especially vulnerable, and our experts must often work quickly to help injured puppies or kittens recover.
We frequently get animals who are severely underweight as a result of hunger and/or severe intestinal parasites. Re-feeding a malnourished pet entails more than simply placing food in front of them; they may require numerous little meals throughout the day to begin their recovery. Internal parasite-infested pets must be de-wormed gently so as not to shock their systems, and they may need to be de-wormed numerous times to be completely free of parasites.
Many cats and kittens come to us with upper respiratory problems, which can be caused by communicable cat infections or simply by inadequate diet, internal and external parasites, and stress. During 'kitten season,' goopy eyes and runny noses are more common in huge numbers of kittens, and our kitty quarantine area is usually packed during those months as we strive to help many of these kittens get well enough to be adopted.
What about all those puppies and kittens who are too young to be separated from their mothers? Our team prepares kitten and puppy meals that are tailored to their specific requirements, which means a lot of goopy foods and dirty puppy and kitten faces that need to be washed after they eat throughout the day. Depending on the time of year, there is a lot of puppy and kitten cleaning going on. It makes life a lot simpler if we have a nursing mother who is able and willing to take on more infants, and we are fortunate for some amazing mother dogs and cats who prove to be incredible mothers! Our foster families, on the other hand, are unsung heroes who take in kids to raise until they are ready to be adopted.
Shelter labor entails much more than simply putting food and water out on a daily basis. There are medications, vaccinations, and parasite preventives to be given, feeding to be monitored, baths to keep them clean, illness/injury issues to be addressed, exercise to help their physical and psychological health, behavior assessments to help pets and adopters find great matches, and a plethora of paperwork to go along with it all. Spay/neuter operations must be scheduled, along with all associated paperwork, and photography sessions must be scheduled so that the world may see our amazing creatures online. Of course, the purpose of all of this labor is to assist a possible adopter in meeting the pet they may adopt so that we may return our focus to all of those still coming in and begin the process all over again.
As a result, there is very little 'down' time in a shelter because caring for 200+ pets every day is never-ending. However, you can rest assured that our team will do everything possible to assist everyone who come to us, since we all care about animals and strive to find them better homes.