Stories from 30 years at the shelter
We finally had a touch of winter this week, but only briefly. We should be back to 70 degree weather this weekend and can all take our respective pets out for a walks, rides and outdoor fun.
I have a guy in my neighborhood who likes to let his dog tow him on his skateboard. It is done very safely without putting dog or rider in danger. They both look like they are having a blast.
In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we are collecting stories and anecdotes from folks who have been involved with the shelter throughout its 30 years. For example, when Pets Lifeline was operated out of Helen Clary’s house, Judy Black, who was once an employee and is currently a volunteer, recalls a dog she wanted to adopt that ended up in what was then considered the “pound” as a companion for her puppy Ralph. For whatever reason, the process back in the early ’80s was different and she was told the person in charge was on vacation and she would have to wait until their return before the animal could be released. She called Helen to see if she could intervene and the next day someone from the pound called and told her she could pick the dog up that day. Charlie and Ralph became fast friends and Charlie quickly became a beloved member of the household.
That was before we were brick and mortar and it speaks directly to our mission statement of bringing people and animals together. We are still true to that mission.
As of this writing, we adopted an animal a day this last week with four cats and two dogs finding their forever homes. Yay!
The kids who have participated in Pets Lifeline throughout the years and the ones who are part of now have very enriching experiences they take with them throughout their lives. One such story is from Janice and Richard Chadwin, whose three children all volunteered at Pets Lifeline in the ’90s and early 2000s. Starting at about 10-years-old, each started volunteering with their mother and then kept on after they were old enough to come on their own. Robin is now a veterinarian doing an internship in shelter medicine in Boulder, Colo.; her twin Gail works for Habitat for Humanity in El Salvador; and Holly, a singer, did her senior project as a fundraiser for Pets Lifeline. Last, but not least, in the year 2000, for his high school graduation and before leaving for the army, their son, Dan, donated $2,000 to Pets Lifeline. Quite a substantial sum for the times and pretty impressive for a high school senior to save and then donate to charity.
With our Kids Speak for Pets program and Summer Camp, we hope we are carrying on that tradition with the same care and dedication of our founders. Teaching kids compassion for animals is a great building block in creating caring and responsible adults who will be our future community leaders. So we continue with our day-to-day ops and take in the stray and homeless, find homes for our furry friends and provide resources to the community in which we live.
From all of us, thank you for letting us into your lives.
Until we meet again ... wag more bark less.