The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Columns

February 23, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Volunteers help keep spirits up

People who work in jobs that involve seeing the worst that people can do — to other people and animals — often suffer from compassion fatigue.

Dealing with grief on a daily basis often leaves these workers sad and angry. It becomes too easy to only see the bad in the world and to forget that good does exist. To see that light always overcomes darkness.

The staff and volunteers at the Animal Protection League are blessed to have so many supporters who help nourish our souls with the kindness they show to us and to the animals in our care. We let it be known that we need items such as bleach and litter cleaning supplies. And the next thing we know people are dropping it off at the shelter — just because we asked.

 Or someone’s child who is an animal lover asks that friends and family give donations to the Animal Protection League in lieu of birthday presents for themselves. We have many young volunteers who come and give their time and love to the animals in our care. It seems to many like such a small thing — walking a shelter dog or holding a shelter cat — but it makes such a difference in the life of those animals.

People who choose to adopt shelter animals understand what wonderful pets they can make. Our animals are being fostered by community members in order to get them out of a stressful shelter environment and into a loving home atmosphere. Businesses in our community are sponsoring fundraisers and giving generous donations to help make a difference in how animals are treated in our community.

Community consciousness is being roused concerning animal abuse and that it should not ever be tolerated and that it is often a link to human violence.

We have a “no kill” cat sanctuary that was completely funded by a member of our community who is an animal lover. Donations are made to our three prison programs because the value is seen in that they save not only animals but to provide rehabilitation possibilities for the offenders. A very generous donor provided us with a brand new Ford Transit from Auto World for transporting animals and supplies. One of our computers gave up the fight and a supporter who has a computer business gave us a new laptop.

I’m learning sometimes you just have to ask. More often than not I am astounded and overwhelmed by the kindness people show us. Sometimes it can be just a little thing like telling us that we are doing a good job. Or someone simply saying thank you.

We have been able to make a difference in how animals are treated not only in our animal shelter but in our community. We have been able to do this because of the generosity and support of this community. I also need to mention all the rescues we work with who take our animals and find wonderful homes for them. Together, our passion, dedication and love of animals are making a difference. Thank you.

Support your local animal care and control, and humane societies. Adopt a shelter animal. And please don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets. Don’t be part of the pet overpopulation problem.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.

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