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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Interesting Day to Say the Least

I guess I am kind of getting into a routine when it comes to working at the shelter, at least I thought I was. The day started off as usual with taking all of the dogs down for their morning potty breaks and getting to work on cleaning their kennels. After scooping some poop and sanitizing a few I took care of their feedings and some special diets. It might seem like not a lot of work but this usually takes about two hours. After that I was asked if I would help with some cat intakes today.

I know I mentioned in a past blog what this all entails but it really isn't a simple process. The reason for doing cat intakes is to evaluate the nature of the animal, get it vaccinated, and do a blood test for cat leukemia. I had no idea that the disease we do a blood test for is spread so easily. I was told the leukemia is spread by any type of sharing bowls or even breathing on each other. Now I see why every cat that enters the facility is tested. Now on to the interesting part. It turns out that the two cats that were being relinquished were done so because the owner lost their job and had to move where the cats couldn't. It is such a tough economic time that more and more things are becoming affected. The women had a particularly tough time dealing with loosing her tow companions that she originally adopted from the shelter five years ago.

After the woman said goodbye we attempted to get the first cat weighed and immunized. That's when we realized the cat was not too friendly. It turns out the women didn't say but the animal is not good at the vet, at all. I just wish she would have told us this before he bit me. We decided to take care of the other cat and allow the first animal to settle into it's surroundings. This is a very stressful environment and if we allow it to get comfortable the intake should go easier. Of course while we are doing this there is another relinquishment waiting and since the original one that was supposed to start at 11 showed up an hour late it tends to push back everyone for the day causing a bit of a ruckus. We got the first two cats housed in their own room together to try to help them adapt to their new surroundings and of course the woman wanted to make sure that they were comfortable. I truly do feel for these people having to give up a member of their family due to unforeseen circumstances but they do have to realize that we will do everything to take care of their animals and find them the right homes.

After all of the drama and a few scratches I was told to help out with an adoption. It turns out is was doing it on my own for the first time. Luckily it was a family that I had spoken with yesterday and I already had familiarity with. They were looking at one of the newly relinquished animals but wanted to see a few others. One of the dogs they wanted to see I steered them away from for the simple fact that they told me what they were looking for. I also knew that this particular animal did not do well with small children due to his size and playful nature. I ended up showing them another dog and giving them some time to get to know him. I came back a few minutes later and they liked him, but just didn't feel that connection. The first dog they say they seemed to be going back to. They really enjoyed the way he showed affection and also had a little training. Since this is such a big decision and truly does effect everyone in the household they decided to think about it overnight and would make their decision soon. Whether an adoption happens the next day or not, I feel that we have a good idea of which type of dog would be the best fit for this family. A true cuddler that knows how to listen and gets along with other animals seems like it would be a win win situation.

While everything was going on today I am happy to say that the man that looked at the dog late afternoon yesterday came back to adopt him. It is always nice to see someone go home and to put not only a smile on my face but that of their new owners. The sad part is the dog that he was kenneled with knew something was different and we need to make sure that we spend quite a bit of time taking care of her adjustment. You can always tell when a dog is sad.

With highs and lows seeming to pop up at random today was really a slap in the face. With the economic hardships affecting everyone, and even their animals, I am becoming aware of how difficult the situation is becoming for owners and pets alike. I also realized that without me loosing my job I wouldn't be working here experiencing all of this. It is truly a crazy time in our lives and we need to remember that it will get better, and don't forget about the little guys that offer undying loyalty and always seem to put a smile on our face, our pets.

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