Thursday, April 11, 2013

One Small Step Toward a Better Dog Shelter

The facility for my local humane society is only five years old. At that youthful age, you’d think it would actually be as “state-of-the-art” as it’s described on the organization’s Web site. Sure, the colorful murals of the lobby warmly welcome visitors and the classical music playing in the dog wing shows consideration for the comfort of the animals; the staff’s upbeat and caring attitude is commendable. But none of these conceals the harsh environs the architect thought appropriate for homeless canines.

The adult dogs reside in a large, open concrete-block room in rows of cages with concrete floors that are separated by concrete block walls. Lots o’ concrete and NO apparent soundproofing, which makes for a VERY noisy habitat. And to a pooch who’s scared or nervous or troubled in any way, the din of the room must be unbearable. Especially when the barking begins, and it takes only one tiny terrier yelp to get 100+ dogs going. The music meant to calm the residents only adds to the cacophony. Between the noise and the concrete greyness/hardness, the place can really do a number on you.

But last month, the shelter held a special fundraising drive for one purpose: to purchase a bed for each dog cage. Donors were asked to contribute $50 per bed. And what do you know? In no time at all, caring folks met the quota.

Now each pooch has one soft place to go to relax or seek solace. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s such a simple effort, but one that makes all the difference for these homeless creatures as they wait for their future to begin.

[Top photo from Sweet Nothings Designs; dog photo from the Lexington Humane Society.]

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