Everyone . . . meet Tangerine! – Tangerine definitely knows all about how it feels to be very full! (Which is also how we feel most days!) – Tangerine was a very pregnant stray momma that came to live with us in October. Once she realized that we were going to treat her like a queen she became very comfortable around humans, and then went to live with a foster family where she gave birth to her six kittens. Her journey is a great example of how we out-maneuver being short on space, and even short on staff, while still continuing to help the animals that depend on us for help.
For most of the year, the shelter continues to operate at peak capacity, with a waitlist of dozens of animals waiting to come into the shelter. This summer, this waitlist reached as many as 40+ animals! When a waitlist becomes that long, we stop taking animals on a first come first serve basis and instead start prioritizing intakes according to emergencies and/or critical health conditions to make sure that the most vulnerable are saved. – (Pregnant mommas like Tangerine are given high priority)
Unfortunately, Hancock County is not the only community experiencing this. Most animal shelters across the state and even across the nation also experience this situation. It’s actually a sign of a healthy and compassionate community because it means that community members are taking notice of animals in need and making sure they are getting the help they need.
Being able to meet these needs and enable our community to continue saving as many lives as possible will always be our top priority. We do this through two key community programs; our volunteer program and our foster program. We emphasize daily, that we could never do this work alone, and it is because of our volunteers and fosters that the animals continue to thrive. These people fill in the gaps, providing essential services for the animals such as cleaning, walking, socialization, fostering, bottle-feeding, vet transportation, maintenance, event support, and so much more.
In a very real way, these people expand our capacity every single day. For example, we currently have 26 animals in foster right now. That is 26 more animals that are off the streets, in safe homes. These foster families will provide care and sanctuary for these animals sometimes for weeks and even months until they are ready for adoption back at the shelter. We have dedicated staff members, a Volunteer Coordinator, and a Foster Coordinator that are on-call to help with any emergencies and also to be the contact person to expedite appointments, food, supplies, etc.
Thank you all dear Volunteers and Fosters! (and everyone who makes this work possible!) Together we are making it happen for the Animals of Hancock County!