The Capital Area Humane Society in Hilliard, Ohio, is the main inspiration for the shelter that plays a role in my debut novel. I have volunteered there for many years, mostly fostering kittens and cats, but I’ve also worked to socialize the cats and dogs waiting to be adopted and helped out in the Medical department, since I also have a degree in Veterinary Technology.
Three of my cats came from this shelter. If you’re looking for a new pet, check out your local shelter.
If you’re not looking for a new pet, there are still many ways you can help. Of course, you can volunteer to work hands on with the animals. Shelters always need help cleaning, too. You’d be amazed how much laundry a shelter has!
Do not feel bad if working in the shelter isn’t for you. It can be incredibly difficult to look at animals in need and not feel your heart break a little when you can’t take them all home. You might consider donating food, litter, and other supplies. Most shelters have a list of items they need.
In addition, shelter staff are often underappreciated. Most shelters are nonprofit organizations operating on a shoestring budget. Not only are staff often paid below what they could make elsewhere, they have an incredibly stressful, emotionally draining job. They come into work every day because they have a passion to help animals and make a difference. That often means making hard decisions, such as euthanizing animals that can’t be placed up for adoption (I’ll save a post about pet overpopulation for later). So show the staff some love. They will never ask for it, but they will appreciate it.