Furry friends in need of love, attention, donations
POLSON – Local foster care and shelter residents are raising their paws and wagging their tails in hopes Santa will not forget them this holiday season. Whether it’s donating items used by the shelter, cash, foster care, or maybe even to giving one of the animals a loving forever home, facilities that care for cats and dogs will always welcome public help and volunteering.
Although animals at Mission Valley Animal Shelter are on a specific diet, director Jill Simpson says there are a ton of other things the shelter uses in abundance that can be donated.
“Cat litter, lots of cat litter,” she said. “Specifically the non- clumping clay kind.”
In addition to the litter, the shelter also needs things like bleach, paper towels, and Odo Ban (a disinfecting and odor control cleaner).
If you would like to donate food it may or may not be given to the shelter animals depending on the make of the food. If donated foods aren't used for shelter animals they are “re-donated” to pet parents in the community who may need the little extra help for their own pets. “We do what we can to help out the community,” Simpson said. “People love their pets but sometimes can fall on hard times. If we have the extra food here, we will gladly help. It is still going out to animals in need and in turn it also helps keep those animals from coming to the shelter.”
If playing with kittens or walking dogs sounds like fun, how about having fun at the shelter? Mission Valley Animal Shelter welcomes volunteers to come in and just be friends to these animals. It’s not only fun for the volunteers but also helps the animals socialize and get the human interaction they so desperately crave. Fostering animals, especially the very young kittens, is also a great way to volunteer.
If adopting a pet for a gift, Simpson warns that they will not allow a pet adoption without complete knowledge and consent of the recipient. Though
owning a pet can be a very rewarding experience, “some people may not be ready for a pet, have allergies, or simply don’t have time,” according to Simpson. “Please check with that person first and understand that these are forever homes.”
She also feels, particularly with dogs, that people need to come in more than once and acquaint themselves with the animals to make sure it’s a good match for them. “It’s all part of the process to make sure both the pets and people are compatible and happy,” Simpson said.
Life Savers Animal Rescue also works in the valley to rescue abandoned, stray, or abused pets with a main focus on finding forever homes for the animals or placing them in foster care. Without a facility, LSAR is limited in size and relies on volunteer foster homes to house and care for the animals. LSAR also provides a spay and neutering program for low-income families, made possible by donations. Spay and neutering is an important step in keeping pet populations under control and LSAR are proud to say it’s working.
“Since 2004 we have saved over 3,400 animals with an adoption rate of 97 percent. In addition we have issued 1,283 spay/neuter certificates for companion animals and 334 for feral cats. That’s a total of 5,017 animals that won’t be contributing to the over population problem,” Volunteer Linda Crawford said. “This has only been possible with your wonderful support and encouragement.”
Because LSAR provides foster homes with all the items necessary to care for a pet including food, medicines, toys, beds, etc., donations are always welcome to help with these needs. LSAR also places adoptive pet posters on community bulletin boards around town, so in addition to pet needs they welcome contributions of HP 02 black and color print cartridges. They also encourage specific pet bed donations, and donations can be made in memory of a loved one. A more complete “need” list is posted on their website as well as information on every animal looking for a family to love them.
Anyone interested in adopting, fostering, or providing donations to either of these organizations can find Mission Valley Animal Shelter online at www.missionvalleyanimalshelter.org and Life Savers Animal Rescue at www.lsar.org
Both entities are 501c(3) non-profit organizations, so all donations are tax-deductible.