I can barely believe a year has nearly past since The Safe House officially began operations. Looking back at the year feels like flipping through photos on a Viewmaster. So much has happened, so much we’ve learned, so many lives saved.
I moved to The Safe House last Memorial Day weekend. Jackie, our Animal Care Manager, had already started work and I arrived to a clinic full of dogs and pups and a list of animals waiting to enter. In just a few days we had our first two special case pups, Azalea Grace with a bad case of mange and Annabelle with two badly broken legs. We were off and running.
Azalea Grace (left) at her intake, and Annabelle (right) shortly after her broken legs had been cast.
Supply chain issues causing skyrocketing construction costs put our barn renovation plans on hold. We are still using the clinic here as an animal holding facility today. In a way, that was a blessing in disguise. We quickly learned our original barn plans would need to change. We were anticipating far more adults than puppies. That hasn’t been the reality.
This leads me to one of many lessons learned…puppies, puppies, everywhere. There are far more puppies in need than we anticipated. At one point we housed 72 puppies 4 mos old or younger! They are so vulnerable and do not fare well in shelters, for many reasons. They have immature immune systems and are prone to catching any virus floating around, including parvo which will have deadly consequences left untreated.
Many puppies need more than they can get in a traditional shelter. Fleas and worms can cause anemia which can be fatal when left untreated, and shelters don’t have the resources to do so. Puppies come in too young and needing milk replacer, dehydrated and needing fluids, or with aching painful skin from mange or a host of other ailments. We can give them what they need here at The Safe House.
It’s not all puppies though. From seniors to neonates, moms nursing pups to adolescents and adults we’ve had over 1,700 animals come through The Safe House so far. Over the year we’ve had animals needing amputations, eye enucleations, animals with broken bones, gun shots, and many other wounds. We’ve helped animals suffering from dehydration and starvation. We have had scared animals that just needed a quieter place, some attention and to know they are loved. Not all of them have special needs, some of them, like Serena who will soon be ready for adoption, are just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I wish this incredible need wasn’t there…but it is. As long as the need exists, I hope Safe Hands and The Safe House will exist to catch the ones we can when they fall. It is because of our incredible Safe Hands family, this community of supporters, that we will be. You can help by spreading the word, volunteering (we need help in all areas, from data entry, writing, photography, events and so much more), opening your home and heart to foster an animal in need, adopting and donating. Together we will continue to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals. Thank you for being part of the team!
P.S. I can’t wait to see everyone at the Fur Ball Gala on June 11th!