A Look Back on 2017
A Message From Our Executive Director
Many people think that a shelter is a sad place to be. Having worked at the Windham County Humane Society for almost 10 years now, I can say that days filled with joy and laughter far outweigh the rough days. I had an especially wonderful experience a few weeks ago. I arrived at the shelter one morning to find a small, scared dog in the overnight kennel. It's not the nicest place to pend the night, but it's far better than a night in the woods or roaming the roads in the dark. We moved him to a cozy room with a warm bed, food and water. Then we put his photo up on Facebook and our Lost and Found blog and crossed our fingers.
Of the 112 dogs that have come into the shelter this year as strays, 109 have been claimed, so the odds were good that this little guy's owner would find him. Around 3 pm a woman arrived at the shelter. A friend who had seen our Facebook post had called to tell her that her dog was safe with us. As I let her into the room where Frankie was, I got to witness the transformation of this shaking, scared little dog into the happiest fellow on the planet. His owner was shedding tears of joy as she shared that she had been crying all day, sure the dog she had rescued from a NYC shelter had been eaten by a coyote. She had taken him for a walk and he had wandered off. She spent hours looking for him in the dark with help from kind strangers and had cried herself to sleep that night.
She confessed that she had not gotten around to getting him an ID tag. We made sure to fix that problem before she and Frankie left. An ID tag with your phone number and address is the quickest way to avoid your dog coming into the shelter. Most people will happily bring your dog right home if they have an address or someone to call. And it gives us another chance to be grateful for the kindness of strangers.
As we approach the end of another year, we reflect on all we are grateful for. We helped more pets and people than ever before - 1,598 animals have come through our doors and the year is not yet over. Every one of those animals is connected to at least one human. Some came looking for a new home, some for veterinary care or spay/neuter services. Some came from right here in Windham County and some came from far away where shelters still euthanize simply due to a lack of space.
We can help them because of the generous support of everyone reading this newsletter. We are grateful each day that we get to help pets and the people that love them, and so we thank you for the generous support you give in dollars, in volunteering your talents, in donated items, in Facebook shares, in the myriad ways this community keeps us going and keeps us strong.
Thank you for another great year. We wish you all a very happy holiday season!
Annie F. Guion