At my work, we help facilitate stray or abandoned shelter animals to find safe and loving foster homes (or ideally permanent homes). This isn’t part of our job, we aren’t required to help in this process, we simply want to. Honestly, I don’t think we have a choice. This island has many stay, sad, neglected animals who want nothing more than human love, a steady food source, and a warm place to sleep. Our kennel staff is made up of four women who all genuinely love animals. Therefore, we do what we can to help improve the quality of life for shelter animals, one at a time. We try to match dogs or cats with their perfect families. (To be honest, my boss, Dale, is the most involved in this process.)
I am able to help by donating money to aid in animals obtaining updated vaccinations, as well as spaying and neutering shelter animals to make them more adoptable. I share information about pets currently available for adoption, and my experiences with my pets or specific available animals and I also help to clean up dogs after days, months or years in the shelter. They tend to have a layer of filth that makes them rather undesirable to touch. (I don’t blame the shelter for the dirty condition of the animals, the cultural attitude towards animals in very different from what I am accustomed to the US or UK, and the shelter has a small staff with limited resources and they are very much going above and beyond to help their animals.)
It warms my heart to see these stray and abandoned dogs with fresh soft fur, clean ears, clipped nails, and brushed teeth. The dogs even seem happier (although, that may be just in my head–or it perhaps because they are clean and people now want to give them loves.)
We know we can’t change the world, or save every animal, but with each animal we help (even if it is only in a small way)—we have made a good, healthy, difference in that life. When we get overwhelmed by the sad, we have to focus on the positive effects we have had.