The Herald Bulletin

July 13, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Work is overwhelming but has rewards

Maleah Stringer
The Herald Bulletin

---- — I know you all are tired of hearing how overwhelming things are right now for shelters and humane societies. Trust me, I am tired of living it and writing about it. I'd much rather write about my wonderful feline Oliver.

But I'm afraid if I don't keep our community's pet overpopulation problem in the forefront of your minds you will not think about it — or pretend it doesn't exist simply because it is so overwhelming. And sad. We have to admit that it is there before we can change it. So here goes..

Since July 2 we have taken another 90 animals into our already overwhelmed shelter. The volunteers and myself are running animals all over town in order to avoid euthanizing simply because the shelter is full.

They are going to Devonshire Veterinary Clinic who has so generously given us two kennels to board our dogs free of charge. As well as Northwood who allowed us to board two shelter dogs over the weekend free of charge. Thanks to both clinics for this act of kindness. And don't forget the Correctional Industrial Facility who gave us five more spots for cats as well as five more spots for dogs which the inmates will care for. And don't forget the members of our community who have stepped up to foster and adopt. Here are a few pieces of good news:

Willow, the beautiful blue Pit who was dumped in our play yard at night in the middle of a thunderstorm, has gone to wonderful foster care. The Rottie who was given up because the owners said they couldn't show their house and sell it because the dog was there has found a wonderful home.

Three cats went to live with the inmates in prison.

Sammi Joe, the retriever mix who was adopted, returned, stayed at Devonshire, went to prison and didn't like prison, and then back to Devonshire, was adopted to a family who fell in love with him.

Nick, the brindle pit bull who was terrified in the shelter, went to a loving safe foster home.

Sugar, the sweet shy little lab mix, went home with one of our very best fosters.

Evie from the cat sanctuary was adopted.

Lots of dogs have been returned to owners.

As stressful and sad as it is to watch all these animals come into our shelter we have to look higher and stay focused on the good that is happening. We are blessed with people who are asking what they can do to help — asking what we need. Donations are coming and making all the difference in this overwhelming time. The offers of help and the supplies raise our spirits and let the staff and volunteers at the Animal Protection League know that we are not alone and they our efforts are appreciated.

Thank you all for that.

I believe that how a society treats its animals is a reflection of who we are; morally, spiritually and ethically. It is a barometer of our compassion and our humanity. How we treat animals matter — each and everyone.

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