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What Will You Do to Make a Difference?

I want to take a moment and share my inside view of the Attleboro Animal Shelter. The world of animals can be heart wrenching and emotionally draining, but also a very rewarding one!

I want to take a moment and share my inside view of the Attleboro Animal Shelter. Every day you can log onto Facebook and see all the “Urgents” and “Scheduled to be Euthanized” posts from many Animal Shelters across the country. The world of animals can be heart wrenching and emotionally draining, but also a very rewarding one!

Drive on down to the Attleboro Animal Shelter and you will see a rundown outdated building that will blow a fuse just by turning on a new light.  Walk around the building and you will see no signs of the modern world we live in today.  On the inside you will notice there is no storage space and we are utilizing every last square foot of space to tuck away food, litter, treats or collars. Look at it for what it is, a rundown building that can no longer service the needs of Attleboro today and definitely not services the needs of tomorrow.

I want to share with you the things one cannot always see, but you can feel and experience. Animals enter the shelter, whether they are surrendered or abandoned, they are scared and uncertain and we make it a priority to assure them they are loved and safe. It is truly a gift to watch an animal stop cowering, see the dark scared eyes glisten with hope and to see that animal respond in a positive manner to the love and affection they receive from each person who takes part in their journey.

We take time to get to know our animals, each one is unique and deserves that chance at a new life – we are their family until they can find their own!  Our animals are not identified by a Log number they are identified by their given name and each one of them is unique.  We have some dogs that are given the opportunity to spend some fun time at doggy daycare as a great way to provide mental stimulation and interact with other dogs and these services are graciously donated by our friends at Off the Leash.  We believe in a fresh start and so do our friends at Stars They Are Groomers who donate their services to our cats and dogs in need.  We are reminded each day we enter the Shelter, that just because they are shelter animals doesn’t mean they are not deserving animals..  We have cats that enjoy playtime outside in kitty city, although it is very outdated and limited it does give our cats some time to stretch out and be a cat and stimulate those feline senses- shelter cats are just as deserving as our own cats. When we sit back and look at some of the moments that are captured by our generous supporters at Paw Prints, we see loving, caring and deserving animals who just need that glimmer of hope, the sense of security and guidance on their journey to a new life - a true reflection of gratitude.

Friends of Attleboro Animal Shelter is blessed with some wonderful supporters who allow us to enrich the lives of our animals in need. The animal’s time with us is just a stepping stone in their journey of life.  We raise awareness and raise funds to provide the necessities they need and deserve.  We are a group of dedicated volunteers who freely give our time to the Attleboro animals in need.  We donate funds to the care of the animals where the budget falls short and provide the basic necessities for the animals to get back on track and on the road to their future.

Let me take you outside the brick and mortar of the Attleboro Animal Shelter and into our community.  Our work goes beyond the Shelter walls and into our community – Together we can make a difference. Here is just a little tid-bit of ways we help.

  • Low Cost Spay and Neutering thru Central Ave Veterinary. 
  • Low Cost Micro-Chipping, which is the essential piece to the puzzle of getting your animal home when it matters most. 
  • Free training grants to Pit Bull type dogs to raise awareness and promote responsible pet ownership thru “A Voice for Tyson”.
  • Chains for Change is a great program where we exchange choke and prong collars for a more humane collar called a Martingale collar.

Thank you to all our supporters, our community, our Animal Control Officers and our Volunteers.  Each and every person has hope and never gives up!  Thank you to each and every animal who has walked thru our doors and changed our lives, each one of them has given the most – the gift of unconditional love.

If we took the negative energy that people want to thrush upon “us” and put it towards something to make a difference, the world would be a better place.  So what are you going to do today that will make a difference?  Are you willing to give of yourself without expectation and the spotlight? 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dave Elliot January 21, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Want to make a difference? Prohibit dog fouling in public.
E. Rusk January 22, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Beautifully written Kim!
Dolly January 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM
It is a city ordinance that people "pick up" after their dogs. Call the animal control officer if you witness a violation.
Gretchen Robinson January 23, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Good job Kim! Also there's lots of good energy right now for lost and abandoned animals and ways to improve the life of animal. How can we help parents and families when they adopt? How can we better get the word out about free spay and neutering? What other things could be done to help more people enjoy their companion animals more?
Kim Penque January 23, 2013 at 04:17 AM
There is a lot of heart that goes into each adoption. Finding that right match is so essential to a "happy tail" ending! An adoption is more than just a meet and greet, it is a lifetime commitment and we take many steps to ensure the "fit" is a right one for all involved. We discuss training, proper training tools, leashes and collars. Right now we offer low cost Spays and Neuters and when that doesn't work for a family we provide additional resources of assistance. http://www.faaspets.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=37 Making a choice to adopt a cat or dog isn't about a breed or a color, it is about finding the animal that is going to fit into your family. I am a firm believer in doing some additional footwork in the beginning to allow for the transition to be a positive one. Some of the things we do include: Vet References Animal Control checks in the current city or town Home visits We are commited to the animals and take these steps so they never have to stay in a shelter again.
Gretchen Robinson January 23, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Thank you Kim. People who dismiss the needs of shelter animals need to think of how much a family will benefit from a new pet, how much the children learn, how much pleasure and joy a dog or cat can bring to a home. When we get caught up arguing about money, we miss the intrinsics. Companion animals are important to children. My own son, now 42 learned things from the dogs and cats we had when he was growing up that he couldn't have learned any other way. We saw him grow and mature because he had pets. My husband and I appreciate all the shelter staff and volunteers who helped us find the right pet when we went looking. What you write Kim, is very true. The 'fit' has to be there. I am SO impressed with the enthusiasm from the volunteers and animal activists! This is a good thing for Attleboro, this commitment. Also each adult animal person is a role model for our children about how democracy works, that shelters get built when voters and animal lovers come together, that it takes hard work and perseverance. But that positive change happens and to love and care for animals makes us better, more complete, human beings.
Kim Penque January 23, 2013 at 04:32 AM
I have always shared my heart with both cats and dogs my entire life. I volunteered at first when I loved to Attleboro in 1999. In 2008 I lost my "canine soul mate". Shortly after that there was a plea in the local paper about a medical need at the Attleboro Shelter. I went down and donated all my dogs things to that dog and never left. When I met that dog, I realized I was right where I was suppose to be. I needed the animals to help my heart mend. Animals give us so much more than we could ever give them and I am grateful I get to share my hearts with so many. To share in the journey of a shelter animal is an amazing gift I treasure dearly as well as all the other Volunteers. Just as with dog training.....we train in a positive manner and we get positive results...the world would be a much better place if we focussed on all the positive that is within it.
Gretchen Robinson January 23, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Beautiful tribute. Thanks. This is what the naysayers don't see: that the heart of the City is it's people and that these people have hearts that are open and are touched by children, animals, nature, other people. I, too, speak the language of the heart. Yes, we have to learn to speak the language of grants and proposals and legalities, but even our elected leaders who excel at these things, have hearts that are touched by things like articles on the shelter, stories of animals abused and neglected. And affected by articles on the pet page in the Sun Chronicle.

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