SNIFF NOTES: How Everyday Animal Lovers Make a Difference


I had a conversation with one of our adopters the other day and was reminded, once again just how many people we have who help us.

This gentleman had adopted a cat from us recently and I was thrilled to discover how well the cat is doing. Sometimes the only thing that gets us through some of the tough days we have out here is to hear the stories of the happy endings we were able to make. This was no exception.

He certainly helped us with the forever home he gave to one of our babies, but he helped us in another way, too.

As we talked further, I came to discover that this fellow had helped and rescued a number of cats who showed up around his home since he adopted from us. He had them spayed and neutered and actually found them good homes through his own personal grassroots efforts.

In addition, he brought two of them into his house to live with him and his adopted boy and the group is getting along wonderfully.

He had stories to go with each cat he helped and really seemed quite fond and proud of his little feline family.

I realized as we talked about the plight of cats and other abandoned animals that what he has done – essentially with his own mini-rescue – has really been an asset to the shelters and rescues in his area because we never saw the cats he saved. And suddenly I was reminded that some of the greatest help we have at the shelter comes from people we never see.

It’s the folks who pick up a stray dog, give him food, shelter and love, try to find his owner, but ultimately end up keeping him in their family. It’s the people who feed stray cats, but know that the most important thing is to have them spayed and neutered and do so on their own. It’s the people who save animals by working with neighbors and friends to help relocate or find them good homes.

So if you have ever taken in a stray or know of someone who has, I sincerely thank all of you. You are as big a part of the solution as any of us, but you get very little recognition or acknowledgement for your efforts.

I really don’t feel as though I’m adequately able to thank everyone who truly helps animals. It’s a big job and it includes people from the smallest town in the United States to the top positions in the biggest animal welfare groups.

Animal-lovers come in all shapes, sizes, occupations, backgrounds and locations and many, many, many of them aren’t paid at all for their efforts. We fight every day because we know the value and joy and worth of a four-legged friend.

I assume that those who read these words understand the above statement and are one of the described animal lovers.

So from me to you, and all those who help our four-legged friends, give your pup or cat or bunny or hamster or any other manner of animal with whom you live a kiss for me tonight and please know that I’m both proud and grateful to do battle every day with you as we fight for them.


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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