I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the words “Oh my god, you work in an animal shelter?! You are so lucky!”
To this I can only smile and reply that yes, I am lucky to have access to such adorable animals on a regular basis. But as all those who work in animal welfare can attest, the reality isn’t all puppy kisses and happy tales.
Like most in this field, I chose a career in animal welfare because I have always been an animal lover, and I jumped at the opportunity to get paid to do a job that was near and dear to my heart. As the communications director at Bideawee, I am the official messenger of the comings and goings of the organization. There are parts of my job that I absolutely adore, like relaying the stories that we all want to read: the incredible transformations (I like to think of them as puppy and kitty makeovers); the moments of palpable joy and bonding between the staff and animals; the times when I capture the look of true love between an animal and its new family. These are the moments that make me feel every bit as lucky as many consider me to be.
But there are hard days, and they occur more often than some may realize. Not a day goes by when our front desk staff are not inundated with calls from individuals and rescue groups pleading with us to take in some animal in dire need: a pregnant momma cat found in an abandoned alleyway; a pit bull puppy that was discovered in a dumpster; a dog that was left chained in a yard for days after the owners picked up and moved. These are only some of the many heartbreaking stories that we are bombarded with day after day.
As a no-kill shelter, Bideawee’s dogs and cats remain at the organization until they find their forever homes. This means that if they are sick, our medical staff will care for them for as long as needed; if they are scared or under-socialized, we will work with them until they feel safe and comfortable in their surroundings. Every animal at our facility is given the best possible care for as long as they are with us. As we often say, before they become a member of your family, they were a member of ours, and we cherish them as such.
All of our adoptable animals are spayed, neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, trained and ready to become the newest members of your family. We spend over $2,500 on every animal that comes to our facility, and our adoption fees don’t cover a fraction of that. We do it because we are committed to improving the lives of homeless animals, and our efforts are 100% contingent on the compassion and support of people like you.
The spring and summer months are kitten season, and as we watch the shelters become flooded with adorable fur babies, we are reminded of the joys, and the challenges, that come with working in our chosen field, but most of all, we are reminded of the gratitude we feel for all those whose support makes our work possible. Thank you for helping us care for animals in need, and supporting our mission to cultivate the lifelong relationship between people and pets. If you would like to make a donation to Bideawee, please call 866-262-8133 or visit www.bideawee.org
Melissa Treuman is director of communications at Bideawee