Every day thousands of animals find themselves on the street. There can be many reasons for this: they are lost, thrown out, or they run away. Sadly, not every furry friend gets into a shelter – some die never having learned to live independently, and others turn into embittered creatures.
Even those who find themselves in a shelter cannot be called lucky. The likelihood that they will again have a loving family is small. Volunteers do not have enough time to devote individual attention to each of them.
75-year-old Terry Loyerman comes to Green Bay's local shelter, Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary, every day to entertain its nurselings, cats of various breeds and ages. At first, he did not even consider the fact that he would be offered to officially work as a volunteer, thinking that his age would count against him.
Terry has since worked at the shelter so unselfishly that it touches all the volunteers there. They told about their assistant on Facebook, but no one expected this story to become so popular:
We are so lucky to have a human like Terry. Terry just came along one day and introduced himself. He said he'd like to brush cats. Eventually it became everyday. He brushes all of the cats, and can tell you about all of their likes and dislikes. He also accidentally falls asleep most days. We don't mind - Cats need this!
The post is only a few days old, but it has already collected more than 60,000 likes, about 17,000 shares, and over 5,000 people comments on the touching photos of the grandfather. Moreover, people began to donate small sums to the needs of the shelter, so that the animals there had a better chance to feel at home.
There are several things that every volunteer of such an institution would like to tell as many people as possible who are planning to find such a true friend like a cat, dog or another pet:
- Do not buy animals – there are thousands of wonderful pets in shelters who need loving families.
- Most of them are completely healthy – they were simply thrown away, but it may be that they had to face cruel treatment and flee, saving their lives hoping to find new owners.
- A shelter is not a place for unnecessary puppies, where your favorite dog brought them to you without your desire and consent. Therefore, volunteers and veterinarians often recommend in advance to ensure that, unless owners are breeders, the dogs are spayed and neutered.
- Working with animals in a shelter is like therapy. In their company, people temporarily forget about problems, and later they no longer seem so overwhelming.
- An animal from a shelter is not dirty and disgusting with a bunch of diseases, just because it lives in a kind of commune. The employees take care of pets' health by regularly cleaning the place, monitoring diets, treating for parasites, washing, cleaning, and providing the necessary medical care.
- A good attitude of volunteers changes the character of even the most terrible-looking dirty creatures with bad manners. A little love, patience, and tender care teaches yesterday's hooligans to trust people again.
To save at least one small life, it is not even necessary to adopt an animal, because not everyone can afford it for different reasons. However, there are several ways to give volunteers a little help.
1. Social media
This is a powerful tool that helps to find a new home for animals. If one day a post about pets looking for a new family appears in your feed, share it. After all, it costs nothing.
This is not even about money – shelters often need food, towels, blankets or toys, and from time to time we just throw these items away as useless. Another option is to donate laundry, cleaning or other household equipment.
Many animals find their home due to the fact that the owners fall in love with their touching pictures. If you are fond of photography, take some time to take beautiful portraits for several of them.
4. Volunteering professional services
The staff of shelters also need the services of lawyers, accountants, animal trainers, veterinarians, and even those who simply agree to walk their dogs or play with cats like Terry Loyerman.
We often do not stop to think about homeless animals, and even pass them by with irritation. But if each of us at least sometimes does something so that they can find a home, then there will be much less of them outside. And remember: pets are not toys that can be discarded when the novelty has worn off.