Several weeks ago our Ruth mentioned she was taking William to volunteer at a local shelter for Poodles. She shared their experience with all of us and it was so positive, that I called our local Animal Haven to see if they accepted volunteers. Bruce, like William is an animal lover. Bruce loved his Pet Therapy days at the Rehab, but to take on a dog or puppy at this point is not reasonable.
Animal Haven is local to us here in New Haven, CT. They are non-profit, privately owned. They do not euthanize. Pre-stroke, whenever those Pedigree commercials came on the TV, I would write a check to them. Bruce got to the point where he would change channels-lol! Said I could be on their Board of Directors!
Well, come to find out, not only do they accept volunteers; they welcome them. They encourage many of the local disabled, mentally-challenged, youth groups to come. They want their charges socialized and comfortable. They want to give back the joy of pet therapy to everyone.
Now, keep in mind, that the big stuff is handled mostly by volunteers who have been trained and who can be relied upon to come on a regular basis after training. But, for us, come play with the kids!
The WC access is through the Dog Kennel-very noisy. There are several dogs Bruce, in a WC, will be able to take on a leash outside. Today was rainy, so no go. They have seven Bulldog pups who are all adopted, but can not go to do ringworm. Today was bath day. We were able to watch through a window.
They have two cat rooms: 32 cages and 4 kitten cages. But most of the cats just roam free in the rooms. Bruce set himself up near a couch and just combed and gave treats to whoever arrived. I did the cages-petting, treats. We fed, changed water. I did litter box clean up as needed. Goal here is socialization. Most of these animals were just dropped off. The organization has no clue as to who they are. All are vaccinated, neutered, medically cleared.
Bruce has been given a job for our next visits. There is a litter of four kittens, one of them shy, withdrawn. Bruce is to take her, one on one. She is tiny enough to fit in his lap and he is to pet and talk to her. Bruce is thrilled.
I so wished I had a cell phone with a camera to share all of this with you. There is a male, tricolor, who could be Kira's father. He really liked me and next time I may be able to take him, one on one, if he behaves. He really needs a good brushing. And a Maine Raccoon cat; black,long-hair =Bosco. He is magnificent, friendly, Kira would be a snack for him; but he almost came home with us.
As we were leaving, a van of mentally disabled persons arrived from a local home-WC and walkers in tow. As they came across the parking lot, all I could hear was "kitties, kitties". It was precious. Since Bruce and the WC were loaded into the truck, I asked their caregiver if he needed help. He said "no, but could you w,it a bit before you pull out, so I know they are all inside?"
Thank you Ruth for thinking of this and sharing. I hope all caregivers, who are at their wit's end as to what to try next, will consider your suggestion.
LOL: global editing is leaving out the title to the large cat. That is OK and I understand, but most of you cat lovers will know the breed I am talking about.