Animal Shelter of the Week: Episode 24 – Burlington Animal Services

Burlington Animal Services is committed to ensuring the health, safety and, welfare of people and pets in their community through their commitment to public service, active enforcement of state and local laws, providing humane animal care, promoting responsible pet ownership and addressing pet overpopulation in Alamance County.  The staff has done an amazing job of expanding their foster program, improving their isolation and quarantine protocols, and increasing spay and neuter compliance of the community.

To learn more about them & see when their new building will be opening check out their website or follow them on Facebook today!

Welcome to the ARPA Animal Shelter of the week podcast where we introduce you to incredible organizations around the country that are focused on helping animals.  We’re proud to be sponsored by Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport.  Let’s meet this week’s featured animal shelter.  The Burlington Animal Service’s works with volunteers and community partners to accomplish their mission. And they’re known as an organization that strives to do things the right way. The staff has done an amazing job of expanding their foster program, improving their isolation and quarantine protocols, and increasing spay and neuter compliance within the community. They understand that education is the key to controlling the overpopulation, and they do what it takes to care for the animals in need and help the community learn the ins and outs of animal welfare. Hey, Elizabeth, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Yeah, I’m really excited to have you. So you are from Burlington, North Carolina, and I’m excited to learn a little bit more about you guys and what you do, So why don’t you check us off and tell us about your organization. Deliver on the shelter manager for Burlington Animal Service is we are the shelter for Elements County. We taken about 5000 animals a year and try to find homes for them. We help the community with really any of their animal related meat. So we’re taking in strays were taking an owner, surrenders we try to provide resource is for pet owners and need way promote spay, neuter and provides a new to resource is And we just try to be an overall resource center for any animal concerns in our county. Yeah, very cool. So how long have you been with the, uh, with the shelter? I’ve been here for about five years. The end of 2014. Okay. And how long? What’s the history on the shelter? How long have they been around? Oh, we have been here a long time. I think the shelter came into existence around the 19 fifties. Okay. And we’re actually still in that building from the 19 fifties. So 70 ish years we’ve found a lot of changes. I bet. I bet, probably just in the last five years. Since you’ve joined them. You know, time goes by so fast, right? Why don’t we just start with some of the programs that you guys offer at your facility course? Our biggest programs are adoption program. Um, we’ve we’ve had a huge changes with that over the last few years. When I started in 2014 we were euthanasia rate was about 60% 0 unfortunately, most animals who came in here did not leave. But now we are at 90% alive release rate. So almost every animal who comes in is either reunited with the owner, goes and finds a new home. Um, that’s that’s primarily due to a very strong adoption program way have a lot of adoption specials. We try to promote our animals, way have social media. We go on the news, we have a few radio ads. We just try to be present everywhere in this community so that people know we’re here goto events downtown. We really have a strong adoption program and try to get our animals out. Way also have a lot of resource is that we try to provide to help pet owners. We see a lot of people who call us because they love their cuts and you want to keep them. But something’s going on. Maybe they need to be spayed or neutered, or maybe the handsome basic, better care. And it’s just not something that pet owner can afford. So we try to direct them thio whatever resource they need. There’s a lot of Community groups and Elements county that are willing to provide basic back here. They’ll provide food to people in need. Um, and they’ll help owner stay with their pets and keep them rather than having to leave them at the shelter. Which is, of course, always stressful for the owner and the pet. No, definitely the resource is is a is a big piece of any organization, and so I love that. That’s a focus for you guys in helping, you know, pet owners keep their pet in their homes, right, if that’s what they’re looking to do. But they need a little bit of assistance. Is that a fairly new programs for you guys the preventative side of this, and tell me a little bit about kind of how that came up and and was it something that you saw the community asking for, like tell me a little bit more about that because I’m I’m seeing The preventative resource is piece of more and more, and so I’m always curious and how that gets implemented. So I think sheltering generally has changed a lot in the past few years. In the past. E think we a shelter workers to be a little more judgmental. And if someone came Mannini, they couldn’t afford pet food or they couldn’t afford Thio. Take their dog to the vet. We thought, Well, you don’t need that. We’ll just go ahead and take it and put it in the shelter and you know, you you just don’t need your pet anymore But that’s that’s not really fair. You know, you don’t need a lot of money toe love your animal. And a lot of times these dogs or cats have been with their owners for years, and everything has been fine. And then something just comes up and thank goodness the pattern of love, that animal enough to know that they need care beyond what they can provide. So we we’ve had a big shift in thinking here, and I think other shelters as well, so way started trying to find. We used to help those people so that they can if they want to, they can actually keep their animal on. And maybe they’re just going through a hard time and it’s gonna get better. But they shouldn’t have Thio give up their pet just because we’ve got some issues going on or they need a little bit of temporary help. Yeah, way provided the resource is, But there’s also a lot of organizations here that do as well, so it’s not always just coming to us for help, but sometimes they pet owners just don’t know. Hey, there is an organization metal. Build a fence for your dog if he keeps getting out of the yard or help you with pet food. We see a lot of people to who have pets who are not spayed and neutered, and they have puppies or kittens and all of its head, and they go from a one or two head household toe having 10 or 12. And in the past I think they would just give up everyone because they didn’t know what to do. And they don’t want a dog gonna keep having litters. We can just say you know, we can help you re home the puppies that let’s get Mom stayed and then you get your dog and you don’t have to worry about having letters every year. Yeah, definitely a need for it. It’s just been a big change in thinking and trying to be much judgmental about that owners and actually help them kind of meet them where they are. Yeah, it’s interesting. I, um the spay and neuter problem, right? I want to dive into that a little bit, too. When we start to talk about the community, I like your wide open approach with that in insane to the community. Come talk to us, tell us what we can help with. And if we can’t help specifically it right. We have partnerships and relationships with other groups and other organizations where we might be able to find help. And I think that’s really important. Has that been adopted while by the community it had The community has been so receptive they wanted help all this time, and they’ve just not been able to get it until we’ve had this shipped in thinking I was gonna say about this being neuter, you know, you do see more animals means bathing needed in the north and the South would not. What we but what Some of the national organizations have found that if you provide the resource is to community, is that that maybe don’t have this may need a commuter resource is they will take advantage of it, and they will get their animals fixed at the same rate as a community that can afford screen. Noona, right? Yep, have to provide that ability and make it feasible for people. And sometimes it’s not. It’s not just the cost of the spay or neuter is transporting the animal somewhere that will provide that service. It’s a big problem, and you have to look at the entire picture to be able to see how to actually help people and how to help their pets in the community. Yet you bring up a really good point about the span neutering and and I agree it is about the resource is it is about listening to your community and understanding what they what they need. So, you know, I just love that what you guys are doing is all based around the needs of the community. and I think it’s really important. So sounds like you guys are making really good progress on the span neutering in your community and surrounding areas. So I really I really applaud you guys for that. And I look forward to seeing, you know, kind of how that continues to grow. One of the things that I’m always curious about talking to organizations is the community. You know, everybody that I talked to you in a different state, different location, and and I’m always intrigued by what that’s like. So you mentioned that you guys were in a in a rural location. So why don’t you tell me a little bit about you know, your community and the volunteers, Um, that you guys have? Sure. Yeah, we’re we’re in a bit of a rural community, and so we we still ultimately dollars and cats, but we do see some livestock. Please see, uh, the little pet like rabbits and guinea pig. Sure, One of the biggest challenges for this community, which I think it’s pretty consistent for a lot of shelters, is that we have a ton of community cats. We have a lot of feral cats that are not normally considered adoptable, and that in the past would have certainly been euthanized. So that’s then one of our biggest challenges in this community. So what What we’ve found? It started a pretty strong and pretty aggressive barrel cat program, so people have cats in their community and they don’t really mind him there, and they’re feeding them. We have a program now where they Kenbrell him in, get a fix to get him vaccinated. And that way we’re stabilising the population, and they can continue to have these cats, which a lot of the farmers in this community love because they help with the rodent problem. Sure, you know, we have dairy farmers and they got feet out for their cattle and Borat fluff to get into that e. Have you can’t there than it really helped with that problem, and this is definitely it’s been a change for us in the past. We we were just trapping cat, bringing them entry in Asia. But I mean, that’s not humane, and it’s not effective. Sure, if you remove those cats than more cats are just gonna move in. The resource is air there, so if you leave the resource is more cats will always come. We’ve found that it’s it’s really most effective if we can get these guys fading, muted and vaccinated. So they’re healthier. They’re not reproducing. And they are feeling that spot in the community is the more cats don’t just keep moving in. Yeah, So tell me a little bit about that, then when did that program start? How did, like help walk me through the evolution of that when you started that? Do you have numbers? Where were you guys at? Where were you? You know, how long did it take you to get to where you are today? Give me a little bit more about catch, because this is again one of those things that, you know with rural organizations I often hear about, but everybody has a little bit different. Take on it. So walk me through that process for you guys. So when I first got here, we were We were trapping so many feral cats. In fact, I think in the past we usedto have part timers who all they did was come in and set cat traps and pickle, not from the cats were called. And all of this counts, reorganized. And maybe at the end of me 16 we started a much more aggressive feral cat program. We, instead of just going out setting traps any time anyone saw your old cat. Reese, stop trapping within the city of Burlington. And instead we try to offer Other Resource is. So if someone complained about Cat, we would try to figure out where these cats coming from. There’s probably someone in your neighborhood that’s feeding them, and we would give free cat deterrence humane cat deterrence to the people who didn’t want them on their property and for the people that were feeding them. We tried to reach out and say, Hey, could we maybe get a handle on this cat population? Let’s get them spayed and neutered. Let’s get him back to Matus or reducing the risk of disease. And if there’s any kid knows love that and find homes for those, they don’t really need to be out here in the colony. But the adults, if they’re not friendly in the barrel, that’s gonna fix, and they can continue living out their lives and hopefully not be as much of a nuisance to the neighbors, because if you get almost think been neutered. They stopped fighting us much. The male stop spraying, so they’re not up at night fighting with each other over mates. They’re not making as much noise. They’re not, you know, spraying and making this horrible smell of people’s property. It’s just much easier for communities to co exist with them once they’re staying a neutered, and then the population stabilizes and you don’t have all these kittens every year. So we started pushing that very hard and challenging people to think about these issues. We’ve had people that we’ve been trapping at their properties for years, and the population just continued to grow. But once we started saying and neutering, everything stabilized, the complaints in the city of Burlington just greatly reduced. We’ve seen a huge effect there, and now we’re trying to move that further into the rest of the county. Um, I think in 2017 neat. We still euthanize maybe 400 year old chats, and then last year it was down 200 this year we have made a concentrated effort to use him as a new hero, pasts and play for being Carol. It would have to be a big medical issue to go medical issue to go along with that. Um, but we are. We’re finding other homes for them or we’re getting face, but we’re not. We’re not gonna put down healthy animal. Just Yeah, that’s a pretty great program again. I just love that Part of it is is you’re listening to the community and you’re looking at the statistics, right? And you’re beside in, You know what the next step is? And that’s great progress, you know, just from the last two years, right in 2017 like you said, 420 18 200 that’s by half. And then I love your goal. This year, right? Is to not euthanize healthy feral cats at all, and so was a pretty big goals. And, you know, the progress that you’ve shown in in the last two years is pretty incredible. And it’s hard to change your way of thinking, right? Not only yours is a is a shelter, but as a community, that’s a that’s a hard task. And are you based? Yeah. Are you working with other organizations? Do you guys do all of the Spain and neutering at your shelter? tell me how that works for you guys. Yeah, we do. We do a lot here, but we do work with other organizations. We have, ah, low cost, a neuter clinic and elements county, and we redirect a lot of people there. Um, we can provide vouchers so that people can go there. There’s also the Humane Society of Elements County, and they provides the neuter vouchers, and then we also have animal kind or the $20 fix in this community. So if you are, um, on various assistance programs or if you qualify with your income, you can get a voucher So that your pain no more than $20 for a stain it or surgery. That’s been huge for our community because normally out of that, stay or neuter can be anywhere from 100 to 600. And most people just can’t afford that. And certainly, if there’s, you know, 10 or 15 barrel cats and your property, you can’t afford to have all of them. Six. Were you? Options has really made a difference. Yeah, and that definitely ties back to our previous conversation. If you have the resource is in the programs. It’s possible right. It’s not that people don’t want Thio. They do. But sometimes, like you said, if you have 10 or 15 cats at $100 apiece, right, that’s a That’s a lot of money for for an animal that’s not living with you right yet. This is pretty crazy. So I one of the things that I really took from that Elizabeth was you were working with organizations in your community, right? Sounds like other vets, other shelters, rescues, you know, other, um, just organizations in general. And, you know, in this industry, sometimes that’s that’s a really hard thing to do for people. I’m not quite sure why yet, but I hope to figure that out one day. But I love that. That’s something that you guys are embracing. Um, so I want to take a few minutes and just kind of talk about that. Tell me how those relationships came about and what the benefit is for both of you guys, you know, for both you and these other organizations. When I started, we did not work with a lot of outside organizations, and I think there was a bit of a fear about having outsiders in the shelter. You know what would me see? What will they think? Because it, you know, in the past, the shelter was a place that did a lot of euthanasia. Sure, outsiders were shelter staff for just a little bit, afraid of bloody people. But when we started working with other organizations, it was a big game changer for us. You know, we get full this summer. We need help late in our animals and way have rescue groups that they’ll take animals that maybe have huge medical issues. That’s just more than we can provide the care four year. They can take those animals and raise the funds and get them the help they need. We’ve also found that sometimes just changing the location of the animal could be a big benefit. We do. Um, we work with our neighboring county Orange County a lot. We worked with their shelter and we will trade animals back and forth. We might have animals that are just not getting adopted here, and they have animals that are not getting adopted there. But if they switch community, sometimes they don’t get adopted more quickly. It’s just a you know, we have a different community than they do, and our people are sometimes looking for different peds. Then what? What their community is looking for. So sometimes just moving the animals around can really make a difference. And it’s it’s beneficial to both parties. You know, if we can increase adoption numbers in both agencies and it’s great for the animals, it’s great for the community. And we’ve we’re willing to work with anyone who wants to work with us. Yeah, I think that’s an important piece, and and honestly, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that before, especially to shelters working together. Is orange Cockney a rural location like you guys? Are they more, more urban? And how did that relationship, um, take place? How did that come about? They’re a bit more urban than we are. We’re probably more world than they are. And they em, you know, we’ve both had time on our past where we were just overwhelmed with animals for one reason or another. You know, you can take in a cruelty case and get thousands of animals all of a sudden that you weren’t expecting. So we’ve been through that and Orange counties and through that And when that happens, we have. We have relied on each other to help us with our populations. So at one point they were super cool and we tried to help because we were in a slightly better place. And then when we were full as well, they helped us out. And we do just found that you know where we can rely on each other. Thio help place these animals because, you know, the animal caring for animals should not stop at the county line. You know, we all have the same goals. We’re all trying to help our communities and the pets in our communities. So, you know, we found that we just need to stay in communication with each other. And if we can help, let’s do it. It’s it’s, you know, we’re not gonna overburdened Thea other shelter. But we have the ability to help. They have the ability that it’s been really mutually beneficial just to swap out animals here in there. Yeah, I again, I think the biggest factor for me here is just having you guys work with another shelter again. I’ve I’ve never heard that it’s so unique and I love your thinking right. It doesn’t stop at the county line. That’s not something that everybody has been able to get on board with yet. But I love that. You know that you’re open thio toe working with anyone who’s willing to work with you guys right? And that includes other shelters, which again, I just think his key. It’s really about the animals, right? About the animals and the community. The people that you guys are, they’re to service and sounds like you guys are doing a fabulous job with that. Based on that, I want to know what your volunteer program looks like. I know sometimes rural organizations struggled with the number of volunteers and fundraising and things. Why don’t you take a few minutes and just talk to me about what that volunteer program looks like for you? We have a great group of volunteers uhm way have volunteers to come and help in the shelter so they may walk the dog, take the cat chow, socialize, Um, go take us on walks and stroll wears. They help us take animals out into the community and do events. And then a lot of his volunteers are also fosters and that has made a big difference for us. We, our volunteer program, has grown greatly in the past few years. But our foster program didn’t even exist until maybe four years ago, and that that’s a huge because we have certain animals that just cannot be in the shelter, uh, nursing kittens, nursing puppies, animals with medical needs or behavioral needs. Those animals need to get out of the shelter as soon as possible. And so we developed a really strong foster program. So now we just reach out to our thoughts, stars and say who can, who can take care of the animals for a few weeks until either they’re old enough or your heels or, you know, if we’re just full in the face, we let the community know we let our volunteers know and they really step up. I think that that’s a big thing for us. Is being really honest with our, um, not just our community of our volunteers about where we are. And if we have a need that they’ve been so willing to help if we, you know again, this is our busiest time, where pretty much constantly a capacity during the summer months. So we when we get full, we let people know we post it on Facebook. We might do media relieves and we ask for help. And people have. People have always responded. I’ve seen a huge response from our volunteers and the new new volunteers and new Foster’s from the community. Just coming in to help us get through the difficult time. Both of them seem fairly new, right? You mentioned that the foster program really just started four years ago on the volunteer. One in general has really just picked up over the last several years as well. I want to know what the key to your success is on both of those programs, I think a big thing. Waas giving some trust and giving some responsibility terrible in tears. Um, we you know, they go on orientation, they know what to do. They know how to handle the animals. And then we just let him help. And we’re not constantly standing over them. We’re not, um, you know, saying that you have to have this level of expertise. We have so many different things you can do here If you don’t want to get out a crazy hyper dog and welcome. You don’t have to. We have other things you can d’oh! So we’re willing to take help from anyone. And there’s so many people that are willing to help. Um, no. All in the same way that that’s fine, because there’s there’s so many different needs. So I think just making it easy to volunteer, You know, you don’t have thio go through this extensive process. You fill out your application and go through your orientation, and then you’re good to go. Um, where you know, we’re here to help you. We’re trying to make it easy because you’re our volunteers are doing us a favor there. They’re here to help us. They’re helping the animals. They’re helping the staff. Sometimes they’re even helping with cleaning. I mean, there we really rely on them. And I think just opening that up, letting them know that we need their help and that we appreciate your help. That’s that’s really made a difference. Yeah. Yeah, I think you know, the trust and responsibility are two key things, and I heard you mentioned you know, when you’re talking about the foster program about being honest and transparent and to your comment earlier. That’s hard, especially with shelters. Right, Because there’s this picture that people paint right, and sometimes they forget about the things that can happen, You know, in the back room, in the euthanasia and all of those things. And being transparent is a very difficult thing. As as a human in general, rage makes you very vulnerable. But as an organization, when you’re caring for animals, you know it’s hard. But I think to your point, you know, when you’re talking about programs like Foster and volunteer, it really is important to be transparent on Just sounds like, you know, they’re fairly new programs. But it sounds like you guys picked up on that fairly early. Um, so obviously, four years ago, you guys didn’t have any Foster’s at all. So four years later, today it where you guys out with your number of foster homes way probably have. I mean, we have over 100 people who were signed upto foster and then it it really varies with the season. Sure. Um, so we have. We usually have maybe 10 to $20 from foster. Okay, But cats in the summer months, we can have 200. 300. Wow! Foster care. Wow way! Just see so many nursing kittens come in and they they just cannot stay here. So we get those out of Foster quickly. Okay, though, that it in the summer months we would probably have more animals and foster than we do in the facility. Sure, because it’s all these little letters of kittens. Yeah, and talk about some dedication with foster homes. Right? When you get those litters of kittens, you know, if there’s no mama than they have to do some bottle feeding and that’s that’s a whole nother level of commitment. It is that it’s so much work because they’re having to get up every 2 to 3 hours. See these little babies come out of the bathroom, keep them clean. It’s a lot of dedication, but when we get postures that are willing to do that, we are very grateful and hold on to them Way can’t do out of the shelter. We’re not here 24 7 So we need people that are willing to help with that. Yeah, no, I think that’s definitely great. And that speaks to the kind of community that you’re in right for them did to step up pension and again. Four years is Ah, that’s it in my book. That’s a new program. And you know, you’re still finding your way and still talking to people and finding out what they need from you, right? It’s okay, you know, it’s it’s food. It’s supplies its support, right? You know what? Whether it’s a Facebook group or a number to call our, you know, there’s all sorts of little things that you have to figure out with the with the new program like that. But it sounds like with 100 foster homes. Um, you know, you guys have been you’ve made great great strides in getting that up and off the ground. And again, you can’t do that without the support of the community and the volunteers, right? So such a huge part of of any organization it is that we everywhere just once we started being open and honest with community. We just saw great things happening here because they do want to help. Most people want to help animals. I don’t think really many people want to see them treated poorly. Your euthanized and I mean we’re asking the community to help, but it’s also what they want. They dio want the animals in their community to be treated well. So now we’re just letting them help with that. And it’s just working. It’s working really well for everyone. Yeah, yeah, that’s pretty awesome. So I want to know now You guys have some of these established programs, right? You’re working through that through that process. Let’s talk a little bit about your fundraising. And if you guys have any upcoming events or programs that you want people to know about, yeah, so we don’t We don’t have a whole lot coming up right now are our attention is actually pretty focused on moving into a new shelter. We’re actually getting a new building. It’s a long time coming, I bet. I bet since he was in the original space, right? That’s the building motor, and now it’s totally inadequate. Got poor ventilation wasn’t really designed with animals and mine, so the cats could hear the dog barking, which is stressful, sure, edible. They’re facing each other, which is stressful for them. So we, um, we’ve been doing a lot of fundraising over the past couple years to get this amazing new shelter, and we are just a few months away from moving into it. It’ll just be so much better from the animals, their mental health, their physical health. Um, that’s that’s kind of the big thing on the horizon for us. It’s getting into this new building. That’s amazing. That’s really cooled. How? Where distance wise, Where you guys at now and where will this new space be? So it it’s right beside us property? Yeah, we’re just moving a few feet over. Um, we currently were in two buildings, so we’re in our super old building, and then we also have a building of only about a decade old, but it’s still pretty inadequate as faras design. So we’ll beginning a new building that will connect Thio, the newer of those two buildings have you renovated and a middle. You know, it’s being designed by architects who understand animals who understand sheltering, and it’s just it’s gonna be. It’ll make a big difference for the animals. Yeah, that’s so exciting. So sounds like you’ve got again. The people in the community have really come around for you guys in making this happen, so it’s kind of a cool a cool thing for them to just kind of see what they’ve been able to do with you guys, right? Whether it’s donating, you know, money or time or equipment, right? It all just kind of comes together on Dhe. That’s it. That’s a really cool thing. It’s It’s really great to see. Great. So when When is the when you base scheduled to open the new space, son. Well, the day keeps moving heavily. It will be the summer. Okay. All right. And so obviously people should should tune into your website or social media. You guys will make that announcement once it’s concrete. We Well, we will. We will. And by everyone to come see and become go through the new building. You know that the community made us so they’re welcome to come and enjoy this new space. It really will be nice. Yeah, that’s awesome. Will make sure the link to your social media platforms and then also your website. So it’ll be easy for her listeners Thio to find you guys. Obviously you’ve done some fundraising and right you have a new building coming. What is that annual fundraising look like for you guys. Is it one, you know, fundraiser a year? Do you guys do several throughout the year? And how computer will learn about those events when they do come up or provided for by the citizens of elements County. So they, um you know, they’re they’re paying from us of this building here. We provide our annual operating budget, and then we do have, um, a local organization that does a lot of our fundraising. A lot of our funding. Really. They dressed a kind of quiet. They don’t They never want a big fuss over them. I’m a behind the scenes girl myself, so I totally understand that I get it. But I look at you have the support from them. Yeah, we really D’oh! There were huge help. They’ve made a big difference here. So we do it. We will have some events, will post, but most a lot of it is really just behind the same Nice. So one of my favorite parts such elizabeth is a memorable story. He’s and so I know you’ve been there for several years on, so I’m curious whether it from you know, your time at this location or just you know in your time with animals in general, if you have a memorable story that you want to share with us, there’s so many, you know, we’re all everyone here is affected differently by one animal or another. And we all get close to certain ones. Um, foster a fear of it myself. So I’m always a bit closer to my fosters. Probably one of the biggest things for me is that we something I have never even thought of before I came to the shelter is that we we do get a few feral dogs. Well, um, you know, we got in the litter of puppies once that had never been touched, never been handles. They were about around eight months old, so they were tiny. And it’s just, you know, it was such a struggle to see these animals that normally they should be all over you, looking new and friendly and wanting to be handled. And we were just hiding and scared. And, you know, you couldn’t touch him because they were just trembling. Appeared to death. Um, and that was you know, that was pretty soon after I got here, and it was a bit like Well, what do we D’oh! You know, how do we find him for these animals that no one can touch? And that’s one of those times that we really relied on her volunteers in the community. And they stepped up that we have people come in and that with these puppies, we had some volunteers who were willing to take him home and try to socialize them. And then we have a couple of rescues step up and help with them as well. And we were We were able to take these puppies that were just completely terrified in help socialized them and find homes for all of them, which was just I mean, it was an amazing thing to see because it was such a drastic difference. It’s from from how they came in. Yeah, yeah. I love the the team effort in that, right? Um, yeah, it speaks volumes for everybody that was was involved in that. And those are Those are the stories, right? That really that really impact you? And you know that I feel like since that happened so early on when you join the shelter that it’s kept you grounded, it’s kept you focused on the community and the volunteers. Right? Because they made such an early impact on you. I think that’s important. And that’s not something I hear very often. Yeah. I mean, our community, we can only be as good as our community is, is willing to help us be. And they want us to be good. They every I think every community wants a successful shelter. You want to feel like the animals in your county are being cared for. And if you’re a pet owner, you want to feel like you have resource is if something comes up, so they’re they’re willing to help. And then we try to repay that by being here for them as well. Yeah, that was beautifully, Beautifully stated. Um, I love that. So I know we’ve We’ve chatted a little bit. Now, hopefully, we’ve covered a lot of what you guys do. But before we wrap things up, is there anything that we may have missed that you wanna talk about? I don’t think so. I think thought mostly covers it. You know, where we’re constantly changing. We’re constantly getting new programs if we see a need or if the community tells us that there’s a need. Then we tried to change our programs to address that. So we’re we go through a lot of changes. Even now, we try to be flexible, and we try to be ready to change. So if something comes up or we find a better way to do something, we’re gonna try to do that. Yeah. It definitely is all about the community in the saving lives, right? Yeah. Beautiful. So I’ve definitely loved my time with you, Elizabeth. I’ve learned a lot about your community and how you guys operate so again, Thank you for joining me today. No problem. Thank you for having me. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast.  If you’re not already a member, join the ARPA to take advantage of all of the resources we have to offer.  And don’t forget to sign-up with It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.

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