Animal shelters and rescue organizations are successful with the hard work of a dedicated and versatile group of supporters, paid and unpaid, that are often unseen by the public. We are shedding some light on how the world of animal rescue and the shelter network coincide with the adoption process. An animal shelter is a wonderful option when searching for your next furry companion. Let’s take a deeper look at how these organizations and the people who run them make a difference, and how you may want to get involved.
Shelter Pets: The World of Adoption
Shelters exist to support pets from all origins. A lesser-known source is that rescue pets come from emergency and natural disaster situations. When an emergency happens, shelters are a valuable resource to rescue groups operating across the U.S. and Canada. Each emergency response is unique. A shelter’s ability to support an evacuation is dependent on the size of the organization and the resources they provide.
Larger shelters in urban areas typically have space and resources, so in an emergency situation, rescued pets may travel wide and far to get to a shelter that can support their needs. Shelters work as a network. “Quite often the word get outs, the reach spreads, and a list is made saying how much space we have for an organization” states, Katherine on-site Trupanion shelter coordinator. “Immediately we will start making space, cleaning kennels, and pulling our resources to help that organization”.
Shelters are experts at moving pets in need. Transportation is a key component to facilitating care in an emergency situation. The shelter receiving the pets is typically responsible for organizing accommodations. Due to the nature of transporting animals, in a stressful situation, there is typically a transfer team in place at the shelter that can coordinate and assist a rescue organization. While there are many ways to get pets where they need to be, no option is too extreme in the case of an emergency. Transport can facilitate through carpool, van, bus, and even planes. The wings of rescue is a national organization of pilots that facilitates in rescuing pets in the direst situations.
“Many rescue organizations are heavily foster-based, so working one-on-one with a shelter is pertinent in a time of need”, states Katherine. While not all shelters have large facilities, every resource and networking opportunity is vital. Many shelters have a strong social media presence where others have a thriving volunteer base. Above all, every resource small or large is valuable and essential when help is crucial. If you are looking to support your local shelter, especially during an emergency, become a part of their foster network which makes a big difference when space and resources are limited.
Channel the Resources
Volunteers make shelters a viable and thriving resource. Typically shelters have limited staff. It takes a village. Because shelters are primarily volunteer-driven duties range from intake to clearing kennels, transportation, reception, and feeding. Similarly, these volunteers work around the clock to facilitate the well-being, safety, transportation, and adoption of thousands of animals each year. The volunteer is the backbone of the shelter organization. They are with these animals morning, noon, and night to provide comfort and care.
The Power of Social Media
“Social Media has changed the world of shelters and adoption”, states Katherine. The outreach that social media can provide is outstanding. Social media has assisted with adoption, funding, emergency care, transport and has shown the miraculous journey of a pet. The power of social media can change an animal’s life.
“It is the mission of the shelter to save the pet’s life”, says Katherine. The shelter goes above and beyond to do what is necessary to secure the safety of a pet in underserved areas and provide the pet with a loving forever home. Similarly, we often share the journey of the pet back with the rescue organization. “I’ve seen a pet on the brink of survival to thriving with a new loving home in a matter of weeks. I was able to send a photo back to the rescue of a happy and healthy animal with a new family” states Katherine.
The resources that support rescue organizations and shelters are priceless. In an emergency, shelters are able to provide a plan and emergency assistance to rescue as many animals as possible, provide immediate medical care and help find their forever family. Thank you to all the animal rescue organizations, shelters, staff and volunteers who provide hope, treatment, love, guidance, and stability to animals in need.