| GREETINGS FROM THE BOARD
Why Sheltering Hands?
There are so many amazing animal groups working hard every day to provide a better life for animals. They are all deserving of your time and generosity. So why Sheltering Hands?
For me it started 5 1/2 years ago. I retired and went from working 12-hour days to doing nothing. Free time, all the time. While my husband relished this life, I was lost. I need purpose and meaning. I always loved cats and we had one anti-social “feed me but don’t you dare pet me” cat and, no, she did not want a friend. She made that clear.
On the advice of a friend, I started looking for places to volunteer. I tried a soup kitchen but they already had more volunteers than needed. I tried a thrift shop. It was ok. I thought maybe cats.
I wanted to just play with cats. I thought about the county shelter but at the time our county was a kill shelter. I knew I could not handle getting attached to a cat and going back the next week not knowing whether it was euthanized for space or adopted.
I found Sheltering Hands…a cat only rescue! I learned so much about the organization. They did home deliveries for every adopted cat. They have a senior for senior program. They pay the medical and take the cat back when they need to. Wow. I could see myself wanting that when I am older.
For the first time in my life, I heard the term “community cat”. learned of the plight of these unwanted cats and kittens. Exposed to the elements, parasites, no medical care, fleas, mites and scabies. Mother Nature was bad enough, humans inflicted more harm such as poisoning, shooting and moving them from their homes.
This small group was offering low-cost spaying/neutering to prevent more kittens. They fixed wounds free of charge, provided whatever aid they could. All surgeries included rabies, flea control, antibiotics, and fvrcp. So much work to be done with only two (2) staff members. Everyone else was a volunteer. Such dedicated volunteers. They showed up for every shift.
What drives volunteers to pour their heart and soul into an organization?
It is knowing you made a difference. A cat’s life was saved and will have a better higher quality of life because of their work. That is true of our adopted cats and community cats. Spaying/neutering has many health benefits for the cats.
We remain focused on the cats sometimes we forget the people. The lonely senior who needs the companionship of a cat but is worried about expenses or what would happen to the cat should they no longer care for it. The small child that is getting their first pet. The adult that is worried about their cat getting enough companionship while they work. We help them too. The joy, happiness and outpouring of love when a new cat is delivered is truly amazing.
So after 5 1/2 years, I am still with this amazing organization. I have joined the board of directors to help navigate the future and to remain faithful to the core values: The cats come first and we must act with fiscal responsibility to ensure that the cats always come first.
So as the summer comes to an end, perhaps you’ll join us as a volunteer. Make a difference. Get involved. Help paws-atively better the world…. One cat a time.
Chair, Board of Directors at Sheltering Hands Inc.