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Show the animal shelter some love

on Tuesday, 23 July 2019. Posted in Editorials, Opinions

Seven years ago, the state-of-the-art Jayne Boswell Animal Shelter opened its doors. The facility itself is most impressive. What’s more impressive is what goes on inside.

During that same time period thousands of dogs and cats have passed through its doors. Some have had short visits and some lengthy stays. There have been lots and lots of new beginnings. There have also been some not-so-happy endings. Too many.

Every dog or cat, or horse, for that matter, that has arrived at the shelter, which operates in partnership with the Florence Area Humane Society and the City of Florence, has been given lots of love and a chance at a new life.

This weekend’s Grateful Dog Festival will give the community a chance to get in on the act and show some love for the shelter and for homeless animals. It’s sure to be a great time for a great cause.

If you can’t make to the festival, the shelter and the animals still need your support and love.

Here a few facts to help you understand the importance of the shelter and what it does:

• In 2018, the shelter took in some 1,800 animals. Thus far in 2019, close to1000 animals have found a safe haven at the shelter.

• The shelter currently has more than 200 animals. All of them are available for adoption.

• The Florence Area Humane Society is a volunteer-based organization. It has no paid positions. It has a core group of about 60 volunteers who regularly help at events, fundraisers, fostering, rescues, and at the shelter. There are many more who help from time to time.

• The humane society is totally dependent on donations for it’s funding. It operates on an annual budget of $175,000. Three benefit events - Bone-e-fit (May), Lights4Paws (late November-December), and the Grateful Dog provide for a sizeable portion of the humane society’s funding. Please consider helping the shelter in whatever way you can, and there are many ways. Here are a few:

Adopt a pet. We hope you noticed a new feature in this week’s edition – Pet of the Week. As previously mentioned, the shelter has more than 200 furry critters and all of them are looking for a new home. Scooter, Devon and friends are waiting for you to pay the shelter a visit. Included in the Pet of the Week feature is basic information on adoption, a list of upcoming events and direction to the shelter’s web site and Facebook page.

Volunteer. The shelter is always in need of volunteers. The more volunteers they have, the more they can do for the animals. If you have a few hours to spare, they could sure use your help. Among the things on their volunteer wish list are a dog-walking crew, a kitten nursery crew, a marketing crew, a fundraising crew, an event crew, a shelter task crew, and a horse rescue crew. The only way these things become a reality is if someone volunteers.

Serve as a foster “owner.” Foster homes enable the shelter to rescue more animals by providing space for an animal when there is no space at the shelter. Some fur babies come with mommas, while some may need to be bottle-fed. Some animals just need a little extra TLC until they recover from a recent surgery or medical problem. If you can make room in your home, consider fostering.

Donate: Donations of any size or amount are always greatly appreciated. Monetary contributions are always tax deductible, as the shelter is a 501(c) non-profit. Material donations are always needed: Among the shelter’s everyday needs are dog and puppy food, cat and kitten food, feeding bowls (preferably the twin bowl type), toys, Dawn dish soap, bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, old towels, and fleece bedding.

In the Grateful Dead song “Box of Rain,” Jerry Garcia sings, “love will see you through.”

Be it at this weekend’s festival or at any other time of the year, let’s show our shelter and our homeless animals some love.

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