SNIFF NOTES: Chasing the tail of technology


As the world keeps turning and the sun continues to rise and set, I become more and more amazed by technology. Although, maybe alarmed might be a better word, because my gosh, think of how far we’ve come.

Even I remember a day when in order to watch television, I not only had to physically get up to change the channel, but if I wanted a clear picture, I had to adjust the aerial on the roof of our house on a little box on the television. See how old I am?

We certainly didn’t have streaming services or, heck, even VCRs when I was a kid.

It shocks me a little that today, we have a ridiculous amount of technology right at our fingertips.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I rely on my phone, not only for ridiculous internet searches, but for finding my way to destinations. That little blue dot on Google maps is one of my best friends – I don’t mind telling you.

I’m stunned how many stores and restaurants and hotels you can find on that little device in your hand. No joke, it will tell you where the nearest Burger King is to you. Right this minute.

Yes, I know that makes me sound old, but what would Benjamin Franklin think of such a thing?

Can you imagine how the Civil War would have turned out if they had had smart phones?

I’m telling you, we’re all going to become objects of sci-fi television. Rod Serling was so ahead of his time with the Twilight Zone (which by the way they have a new adaptation of that I got sucked into the other day – it was so good!)

As frightened as I sometimes am of where we’re headed with the new age of computers, I have to admit, they actually help sometimes – and not just to find me the nearest fast food restaurant. They actually help us with animals. 

I can point to a ton of instances where because of the Internet, we were able to get messages out to supporters, adopters and donors for help when we needed it.

Many of our animals have found homes in states far from us. We sent a St. Bernard years ago to a woman in Tennessee who lived on a huge farm because she saw him on petfinder. We had a deaf boxer go to New Jersey with a family who loved the breed and had trained deaf boxers in the past – they found out about her through the website.

When we had 29 birds come into the shelter at one time many years ago, we were able to get help by putting a call out for assistance via email and folks from Maryland and other towns offered up their support.

We have people who have moved out of the area, still able to support us monetarily by donations through our website ( We also have Facebook donations that we ask for from time to time and we receive every penny we get from those folks.

We share photos of our adopted babies and their happy endings so easily through email and cell phones and social media.

We alert our supporters to upcoming events with email information. 

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the advances we’ve seen in technology.

So even though I sometimes get nervous to think of where we may be headed (we’re all going to be cyborgs at some point, you just wait), I think for now, I’ll comfort myself with the knowledge that if used properly, technology can really be a big help.

Especially for the four-legged souls who have no voice but ours.

Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.

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