Animal Shelter of the Week: Episode 27 – Rockingham County Animal Shelter in North Carolina

The Rockingham County Animal Shelter opened in 2011 & was the County’s first official shelter. Taking in nearly 6,000 animals their first year, they knew right away that more staff was needed. Their first focus was to increase the live release rate and to find a way to provide low-cost spaying and neutering for their animals. They formed a partnership with the Humane Society of the Piedmont Spay, Neuter & Wellness Clinic in 2012 & continue working with them today to provide monthly clinics to help reduce their intake numbers. In just 8 years they have gone from a 98% euthanasia rate to a projected 44% in 2019.

To learn more about Rockingham Animal Shelter, check out their website & 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.com. 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 Rockingham County Animal shelter opened in 2011 and was the country’s first official shelter. Taking in nearly 6000 animals their first year, they knew right away that more staff was needed. Their first focus was to increase the live release rate and find a way to provide low-cost spaying and neutering for the animals in their community. They formed a partnership with the Humane Society of Piedmont Spay/ Neuter and Wellness Clinic in 2012 and they continue working with them today, to provide a monthly clinic to help reduce their intake numbers. In just eight years, they’ve gone from a 98% euthanasia rate to a projected 44% in 2019.

 Hey, Britney, welcome to the show. Hi. Rachel. I’m really excited to have you on the show today. You are with Rockingham County Animal Shelter and I want to just dive right in. So why don’t you guys tell us where you’re located and a little bit about your organization? We are located in Reidsville, North Carolina. We are a county-run open admission shelter. So what that means is that we take in anyone and everyone that comes through our doors of our shelter. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a dog or cat.We have everything from bunny, shaped pigs, goats. We’re also obviously rural, since we deal with a lot of smaller farm animals as well. But we provide a shelter with a warm place for everyone. All our runs are indoors. We don’t have any outdoor runs and everyone has a full belly. Our staff is very knowledgeable in their animal care in handling and we facilitate adoptions. We reunite animals with their owners, and then we work with rescue organizations. One of the things that you had mentioned is you guys actually take in small farm animals, as well. But you also mentioned everybody has a space inside. So yes. Tell us a little bit about what that campus looks like for you? The farm animals are outside. They are, OK. But some, uh, you know, a lot of shelters. they’ll have indoor/ outdoor runs for the dogs, whereas all of ours are inside. And then there’s a fenced-in yard in the back, that volunteers can take them to go out and play and run. But during the day, they are in fully air-conditioned, heated buildings. So they have their own little luxury after possibly being, you know, chained outside. Or they were stray, you know, lost in the rainstorms. They can come here and not have to worry about the elements. Whereas when we do get our random chickens, we’ve got some chicken coops in the back and then our little fenced-in area where we can keep our goats or something. But luckily, like when they come into the shelter, we do not have to hold them very long, because they’re highly wanted and easily adopt out a pig, oddly enough. Yeah, that is a little strange.

 So let’s talk about that before we get into the nitty-gritty and the numbers and the history. How are you getting those farm animals? How are they coming to you? And why are they so wanted, right? Well, they’re strays, oddly enough. Our animal control will go out there and pick up stray chickens and goats walking down the side of the street. Sometimes we have goats that come with collars. Of course, they don’t have their little ID tag on them. But, you know, their somebodys, so we’ll hold them. And a lot of times, like if a goat does come in with a collar, it’ll be reclaimed. It sounds very strange. Yes. And we’ve had stray, very large pigs that have been brought to us by animal control. And one pig in particular, I believe his real name was Hank. When he saw his owners come in, it took him, you know, a few days and then they were like, Oh yeah, we’re missing Hank. They come in and he just starts grunting, squeaking, and then everything. You know, and you’re just like, Oh, my Lord. Yeah, we are a full shelter, but we do have stray goats, pigs and chickens. Very interesting.

 So, honestly, I would say it right off the bat. I mean, one of the things I always like to ask is what makes you unique? I’ve seen a lot of rural organizations, both shelters and rescues. And I have to tell you, I’ve never heard that before. So I’m gonna go on a whim here and say early in this conversation, that’s what I think that makes you guys really unique.. And we take them all in, we will. I mean, if you bring them here, we’re not gonna turn him away. We’ve had iguanas surrendered. Oddly enough, a parent was trying to teach their young children a lesson at an early age and brought their goldfish here. We have two goldfish surrendered, because the children were not caring for them. 

You guys have been around for eight years, and I want to talk a little bit about what that progression has been like for you. Why did the county decide you needed a shelter? In what progress have you made in those eight years? We’re a very, I guess new type of shelter for our county. We’re less than 10 years old. Before then, the county did not have a place to take its strays and unwanted animals. There was a local veterinarian office that would have, I guess you could call it like a lot, cause it wasn’t really a facility. And, you know, it was a smaller building and had a fenced-in area where animal control would bring the animals. But when you’re dealing with such a small area, then the animals don’t have very long. So the animals that were brought there, if their owners and families did not come find them, they were euthanized. If someone coming into the vets office did not see that animal sitting out there, and was like, Hey, I want to adopt that. They were euthanized, so the next group of animals could come in, because there wasn’t space to hold them. So the community, you know, really rallied together, and they were like, we want a county-run animal shelter. They got the plan in the works to make this building. And then myself, I had previous background as a shelter supervisor in Winston Salem. And then our shelter director, at that time, he had been a town manager, and so they brought us together both business and animal world and brought us so we can make this happen. And we did, so then previous, to them having an animal shelter, there’re  euthanasia rate was rumored to be somewhere around 98%. And so we’re like, Oh, my God. You know, we’re starting off with such a terrible stigma, you know, to go into this like, you know, if the animals come here, they’re just going there to die. And that’s what so many people think. But that’s not what we’re here to do. That’s not it. We wouldn’t come to work every day to be with our best friend, our best type of animal that we love more than anything, to be like, Okay, this is what’s gonna happen now. 

In our first year, they flooded, they flooded in and we had close to 6000 if not a little over 6000 animals in a year time, that we took in. Even that being said, we were very limited in staff, because they didn’t realize what the influx was gonna be. They had predicted like 3000 and here we are, double of what they predicted, because it has no idea what it’s really like. What was going in and out of that previous building or the animals, you know, people were finding other means for them to go. So they end up here. From 98%, then we were able to, in a year, to bring it out of 80%. And as every year has passed, the euthanasia rate continues to decline. It continues to decline, more lives are saved. That’s something that we are proud of, because even we do lose lives. But there’s so many lives that we’re saving in the process, that every year it drives us to be better. And I think that’s something that you always have to do in your personal and your professional life. You need to strive to be better. What did we do last year? What was great about last year and what can we do this year to make that better? That way we’re not failing anybody or leaving anybody behind. Right now. We’re sitting at 44%, 7 years time. You know, we’ve come down from what it was that eighth random year, not being in this building to our first year, to now. We’re very excited about the trend of our shelter, that so many animals, whether they are dogs, cats, pigs or chickens, you know,  they make it out of the shelter and that they’re going into good environments.

 How are you keeping the team motivated to keep going? To know that they’re gonna come into work and there are gonna be those hard situations and those hard days. What are you saying to them? To get them to stay, to keep coming back and to continue to make progress. Obviously with, you know, having to euthanize that type of number of animals, compassion, fatigue, definitely sets into your staff. It’s more focusing on the small achievements that are right in front of you now, then, looking at the whole entire picture, that can way really heavy and can be, you know, a really hard burden on somebody to have to carry. We try to focus on our rescue transports. When we work with groups like the Humane Society of Charlotte or the SPCA, The Triad in Greensboro. These are groups that come to our shelter and they take multiple animals, all at once. They could leave with 12-15 dogs, some cats, and to really look at those and like, you know, they were here for a few months. It’s and now they’re out, you know, like, this is what we’re doing. Or if we have a really great weekend adopting out some of the problem children, that you’ve had where you just have that one dog, but just you love to death. But when everybody comes in, he likes to show out, bounce at the top of the kennel and, you know, act ridiculous. And you’re like, Why? Why is he doing this?  You’re not helping yourself. To celebrate the small achievements, I think to look at that and that we have a board in our break room that is devoted to what we have done amazing. It has, last year, and it has this year on it. So how many animals did, have been adopted this month? It will say, like you know, 98. How many have been transferred out this month? 126. How many, you know, went back home? 50 some. You can kind of see, like, Oh, wow, this is what we did this month. This is really good. Oh, wow, this is where we were last year. We’re doing so much better, even when you’re having just like a crummy day, that you are making a difference. It is a challenge. Takes very passionate and strong people to be able to do this type of job. I think trying to keep them and their hearts still happy, even though it could be mentally and physically taxing, is to make them remember that they are doing good. 

So another thing that really kind of struck me. I was looking at your website, and one of the first programs that you guys put together when you open the shelter, was a low-cost spay and neuter program. So I want to spend a few minutes and kind of talk about that and why that was your first initiative and how that played into the future of your shelter, because I think it’s a program you guys they’re still offering, correct? Yes, it’s one that we continue to offer. We offer, it’s the second Monday of every month, and we’ve been partnering with the Humane Society of the Piedmont Spay/ Neuter and Wellness Clinics. That’s really well named. Since 2012. They have been amazing partners to work with. They’ve got some great doctors. They are able to spay and neuter, at one time, between 42 you know, 70 animals because they’ve got a team of doctors. This is what they do, you know. It’s not like when you’re in private practice and you’re seeing patients and doing all that as well. Like your, your main focus that your day is surgery. I like to consider ourselves the bus stop. So, people that might not have access to be able to get out to Greensboro or you know, they’re able to come here. They sign up. They drop their animal off. The van, it’s actually like a big truck, comes and loads up all the animals. The dogs and cats that need to go for surgery. And takes him out to Greensboro, for their day. After surgery, they recover there at the hospital, and then the next day, the Tuesday, they come back to the shelter and their owners are waiting here to pick them up. It’s been really well received. Like I said, it helps with, you know, people that just can’t get out and drive very much, and the fact that it’s low cost, it’s very affordable. Cats are $65. Dogs are $75 to get fixed, compared to like, what you would pay at like a private practice veterinary hospital. 

So tell me a little bit about how that came up. So obviously, the community had a need for an animal shelter. When they were talking about building the shelter, was their conversation about, this is a problem for us, whether it’s in the community or the state in general. And that that was one of their main focuses in opening the shelter. It being one of the first things that we wanted to do, we all know where babies come from. So we need to stop all the cats and dogs to keep from, continuing to have multiple and multiple litters. Because in our first year, we’re having people come in and they were like, repeat customers. And you’re like, Well, didn’t you just have a litter like, you know, how many months ago? And you know how to make it stop, and, um, you know keep Spunky inside. So they were like, people can’t afford some of the prices in the area. Or, you know, if there are low-cost options, they can’t get there. So it was either we can’t afford it or you can’t get there, to be able to get a lower-cost option. Because in some of the city areas, there might be, you know, different programs in certain places, but you have to be able to get to them. We wanted to find a way to bring the spay and neuter to them and where it could be affordable. We were able to find, by the grace of God, Planned, previously called Planned Pethood, and now it’s called the Humane Society of the Piedmont. Their doctors and their office manager came out and they were like, Hey, we would love to partner with you guys. Gotten around that you guys are looking for a clinic, and we think we will be that clinic. They showed, like, the prices that they could do for the community. The fact that they bring a truck out, people just have to wait one night to bring their pet back. But I mean, it’s been really well received, because we have actually seen a decline in our intake since then. So whereas we were taking, you know, that first year I think anybody and everybody was like, Oh, that’s where they go, here’s 6000 animals. To, now we’re teetering on our 5000 border. Once last year, I think I took in, like, 4900 animals. So I mean compared to 6000 to now like it is making an improvement.

 I really like that another organization came to you and they were willing to have that discussion openly and say, here’s a service that we can provide. You guys were looking for something. How can we partner together and help the people in the pets of the community? And it sounds like they have a great program and the transportation option is awesome that they’re able to do that. Are you guys doing any promoting with that? Are you out in the community talking about this? Are you talking about it at the adoption events like, what’s the educational side of this? We promote it constantly through our Facebook. Word of mouth helps a lot from, you know, people that have been like Oh, yeah, I got my animal fixed at the shelter. You just go by and fill out paperwork. Then we also go to schools. We go to career day when that’s offered to a lot of the elementary schools. We talk about responsible pet ownership and bite prevention. When we go there, we’re talking about how you care for your pets. You get a new pet, you go with your parents. You go to the vets with your pet, you know, and all this care. And then we’re like, one thing that you know you always need to remember is the spay and neuter portion and going over that early age and kind of getting in their mind that not all these animals are always gonna have a home. Like the puppies are cute, but let’s make sure that we’re not making additional puppies. Sure. It’s hard for younger kids to understand. So you have to be a little creative and how your message, Yes, how you approach it. Not make it sound terrible. But you kind of start there and you put the idea in their mind and you send the brochures home. Like the pretty fun color pamphlets or like a coloring page. And I still find it slow today, and it’s got your information on it to wear. You know, this could now be hanging on the refrigerator and that sort of thing. So you can try to get in there, and hopefully you can reach out that way. And then Facebook’s huge. You post an event, people are gonna share, so that helps a lot with advertising.

I want to talk a little bit about some of the challenges that you guys have, whether it’s in your community or within your organization. Challenges is a part of the animal welfare industry. So do you guys have any challenges, or do you see any challenges in your community? Probably challenges like within the shelter, as it is with any of the other shelters, is staffing. Is trying to find all the hours in the day to get every animal cared for. We’re really trying to increase our number of volunteers. To help take some of that stress down, on the staff members, is to really increase our volunteer base. And not only is it decreasing the stress on the staff that they’re like, Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much to get done, I’ve got so many animals, that the volunteers actually help decrease the stress on the animals. So not only the staff, but the animals as well. And if somebody just has a few minutes out of their day, they can take a dog for a walk, which helps them get time out of the cage. That way, when they look for adopters, they’re not jumping up at the top of the cage acting crazy. So they’re promoting a positive image for the poor dog. It was like, Oh my God, please come get me and walk me and, you know, play with the cats. And then if they’ve got extra time, help the staff. You know, that’s one challenge that you see inside the shelter. Outside of the shelter, you know, we are a rural community, so sometimes you see an individual’s funding. They might not have the means to always take care of their animals. And so sometimes they’ll be faced with that hard decision with the weight of, you know, do I feed myself or do I feed my pet? And that is how a lot of animals can get to the shelter, at times. We’ve had some big businesses move out. Some factories shut down, so people you know, it could be without their homes. They can lose their job. So then they are faced with those decisions and those decisions are real. So we have one group within our county. It’s called the Animal Protection Society of Rockingham County, where they try to help alleviate some of those burdens. They have an application process. It’s kind of like meals on wheels, donated food they will take to these people’s homes. They’ll deliver it so they don’t have to worry about the cost of food to keep their pet during difficult times. If there’s something that comes up, they can fill out applications for spay/ neuter vouchers, which I think is really cool. They’ve started that. They’ll go through our spay/ neuter program with a voucher from Animal Protection Society, to get their pet fixed if they’re not able to afford the low cost. And then they’ve even had the ability to help people that might have an injured pet and they’re able to donate, you know some money towards the cost of helping that pet get better. So they’ve really been a great asset to the community. I have out there, to provide to keep the animals from coming into the shelter because nobody wants to have to lose their pet because they fell on hard times. So that’s a really difficult decision. So having a group like that in our community, that’s like, you know, give them our number. Let’s make you the last resort. So that’s very nice to have their support in the community. I think it’s really cool that you guys were working with other organizations in the community and you’re trying to figure out what’s needed and how you guys can help and work together.

 Britney, what other programs do you guys have? Do you have volunteer programs that kind of talk about the educational, I want to talk a little bit more about the transport. Do you have any other programs or any volunteer programs that you want to talk about? Our volunteer programs are very simple. You come by, we want you here. We need you here! Why aren’t you here? Yeah. Um, You just come by, get the volunteer application and we will definitely hand you a leash, to get you started walking a dog. We are part of the county. So the county has a wellness program. We kind of got in the ear of their wellness part here like hey, you know, you have a walking initiative. Well, what if you couple that walking initiative with walking a dog. So they just started that this month. And for every 10 minutes, or as long as you walk a dog for 10 minutes, every day, you get a stamp to be a part of, you know, the monthly wellness initiative. So we have seen a lot more county employees down here at the shelter, walking dogs, getting them out. So we’ve kind of coerced people to come on down, so they can get their stamp, to help. And I mean, they’re getting great exercise, the dogs are getting out and that’s, that’s what we want. Did you guys go to them and say, Hey, you have this? How can we work together? Or was that just kind of.. Yeah, yeah, I love that. You laugh, but I think that’s really cool, right? That’s really thinking outside the box and saying, You’re already doing this, right? How can we tie this in? To more volunteers at the shelter helping more dogs and playing with the kittens. Yes, literally, riding into the vet, you know, going out. We could take some animals to our local pet store. I’m like, man they’re walking or he’s just put a leash in their hand. You know, like they’re good. One of the well meetings, we got with their coordinator and asked them if that would be something that they wouldn’t mind, possibly adding to their wellness initiative. And right now, in the first month of it and we have definitely seen employees down here. So it’s, it’s working. Yeah, that’s really, really cool. I’m really excited about that. We’re gonna have to tune in and kind of see what that progression looks like. I think that’s something that more shelters and county organizations can definitely benefit from, especially if they already have a wellness program in play.

 Let’s talk a little bit about the transport piece of this. I know this is a hot topic for a lot of organizations. Tell us what you guys are doing with that. When did you start that program? And where is it at today? We have always had some type of rescue transport in place. It’s definitely started off small because it’s all about building connections and relationships. So where we are right now is very, very awesome for us. Now we’re ready to build and make it bigger, obviously, because we could get more animals out. But this year’s been definitely our best year. We want to make it very easy for rescue groups to be able to come in and pull from us. We never just tell them, Hey, we need you to come get this broken dog. We’re like, Hey, we’ve got this dog that needs help. But we also, have this dog over here that’s fabulous. You want to come to get this fabulous dog, along helping with, we need help with dogs and so kind of the bait and trick there. So they’ll come in and they’re like, Yes, we’ll definitely help with this dog. Thank you so much for giving us, you know, this dog. Because I mean, they have to be able to adopt out a dog to raise funds for other said dog, that needs surgery and all kinds of randomness done to it. And that has helped tremendously. And then they’re like, Oh, yeah, you can go down to the Rockingham County Animal Shelter. They’ll let you see all the animals and the things like whatever you want, you know, So we don’t have just dogs that are like, No, these are our adoptable dogs. You can’t have these. You can have any of the organizations that we’ve ever spoken to were like, you’re welcome to come to visit our facility. You can tour any facility, anything that you want, you can have, and we will make it happen. We’ve been able to reach one transport that we use, is Bucks County SPCA. We travel four hours, they travel four hours. They’ve come to our facility before to me us, and see where our animals live. And then we’ve traveled to their facility to see where they’re going, which they’re going to like the Taj Mahal. And it’s absolutely beautiful. So we’ve been able to do a monthly transport with them where they might take between 12 maybe 18 dogs at one time. And we’ll drive up four hours and then they’ll drive down four hours and we’ll meet and exchange. As part of their thank you, they will give us dog food and cat food in exchange for our dogs, which is really nice, because that’s something that we’re always in need of, is dog food. So they actually raise, they do a little food drive for us to bring them new animals.

 Charlotte Humane is another one that we’ve recently partnered with. We’ll go to them, they’ll come to us cause that’s us much shorter travel distance. It’s probably like two hours, so that’s been great. We’ve been able, this year is the first year, that we were able to find a cat rescue to help us out, which was so exciting for us. That was a huge endeavor for us to be, like, finally made that connection with somebody that’s gonna take, you know, more than just one cat at a time where they were like, Yeah, we can take this many and you’re like, really? Yeah, can you take more than one? Can I, Can I ask where that cat rescue is? It’s up in Asheville. It’s right outside of Asheville, its PAWS. It’s the Pisgah Animal Welfare Society. So we’ve been really excited to be able to meet up with them and their founder. So that was really cool. That was really cool. Cat rescues are always one of the really hard ones to find, and I don’t quite know why that is. That’s why I was so curious where they were at. Because there are so many cats. Is that maybe why? Yeah. I feel like, well, first off, it’s hard to find receiving organizations in general. If you, everybody has such a full-on. Yeah, that it’s really hard to find those, those groups with open slots. But then, to say that, that the cat rescue in Asheville has more than one or two open spots. It’s like, Wait, who are these guys? Since you’ve had the transport program since the very beginning, how do you go about finding partner organizations? Is it based on past relationships? Is it cold calling? Because I think this is the part that people struggle with. Past relationships. It’s definitely past relationships, where you’ve worked with other groups, and then they’re like, Oh, have you ever, you know, used so and so. If you ask them for help, let’s say with a beagle and you reach out to them and they’re like, you know, I’m really sorry, we’re full. Have you tried so and so. So it’s kind of where you get through of who knows who. So that’s kind of how it goes. And then that will be like, Hey, yeah, we know this group, you know they’re a good shelter. You should really consider pulling Sadie.

 This year we have had luck with who knows who. How can we find, we have a new shelter manager. I was a shelter manager from 2011 when the place opened, to 2018. So I got finally got a new shelter manager. I became the director and she came aboard in November, and she came in with a slew of contacts. So that’s when our who knows who board went off. She’s been just a wonderful part of making these connections happen. If we’ve hit a wall, she will, cause she could go somewhere else and be like, all right, who do you know and who could get me what I need? So I mean, she’ll even work through the night, she’s gonna find somehow to help an animal in need. Just recently, yesterday we got a dog that was hit by a car. It was a young puppy, just like let me take that up to the vet and let me see what I could do. By morning, just like, you know, I’ve got placement. But she works very diligently on finding a placement and working within a network. So she’s done very, very well for us. Yeah, hang on to her. She sounds like definitely one you want to hand on to. Yeah.

 So one of the really cool things and one of the things that I kind of struggle with is we often hear organizations sending animals to other organizations, but then not getting anything in return, right? That sending organization is putting in all this time and money and effort into these animals. Vaccinating and getting health certificates and all these other things, spaying and neutering. And they’re giving the animals because they don’t want to euthanize. But then there’s nothing coming back to them in return. And I love that you guys actually have this extreme. You give animals, they bring you back food. And how did that conversation happen? Did it happen organically, or were you like we’ll do this, but we need something in return. Because that’s a challenge for organizations. It just happened, so it was very cool. We had got basically, you know, who knows who. We were at one of our North Carolina Animal Federation conferences or monthly meetings, and they were like, Hey, I used to know so and so, who used to work here in Charlotte. Now she’s up in Pennsylvania. They need to pull dogs from Southern shelters. And I thought I would, you know , let you guys know. And I was like, Oh, you can take my dogs. You know, let me have her number, you know? So we were able to touch base. They were able to travel down here and meet us in our facility and our animals. They wanted to establish a partnership with us, but they saw that we don’t have a lot of money. They’re kind of like, you know what? What are some of the things that you kind of need and we’re like, you know, because they were like, do you need vaccines or, you know, for your animals? I was like, you know, no, you know, that’s part of, you know, being the shelter we vaccinate on intake and everything. So I appreciate it, and, um yes, that we always use food. And it was just a conversation. It wasn’t like, Hey, bring us some food. They were like, Hey, we’ll give you food. They took so many animals with him this time, and I mean, it was just a really wonderful organization to work with. And you just hope that you have more than one day. 

So on our second date, we met halfway and we did the transport. And then they were like, Oh, by the way, here you go. And so to be able to load the last load of our dogs onto their van, they had to remove all these bags of food and they loaded us up. And they’re like, Yeah, we love your dogs. They’ve all been doing really well, that they adopt out really quickly. Once, you know, they get off our little quarantine after their surgery, they adopt out really quickly. We want to help you guys with food. And they had all different types of food that was donated and everything. So I mean, it was really, it made you feel really good, and that you kind of have a friend in another place. It was cool because there is a lot of work that goes into transferring a dog out of your shelter. You’re kind of on a dating website. You have to, yeah, you have to market that dog, so when you want him to go to a specific location. I mean, you’re taking pictures, you’re doing bios. You’re sending all this different stuff. And so sometimes you’re even sending videos of meet and greets, so they can kind of get to know this dog to see if it’s a dog that they want to pull into, you know, their organization. So you’re trying to market and sell this dog, and there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of work that goes into trying to get an animal out of an organization. It’s not an easy process, but it’s so rewarding when it’s done.

 So, Britney, as we, as we get close to wrapping things up, I do want to talk about two quick things. One. You’ve been with this organization from the very beginning, and so I have to believe that you have some really cool, memorable stories. I won’t ask for a lot of them, but I would like to hear just 1.1 of your choosing. Do you have one that really sticks out to you? Well, for talking about rambunctious dogs. Um, Sal. He was here for a while. Good old Sal. Everybody loved this dog. He was buck wild constantly. You get him out and he would be just so excited. But if you let him just get out all his runs, then he was really cool. Real chill, real great dog. Still real hyper, a little crazy. But he showed awful. You would have him in the kennels, and he’d be barking and jumping up and down. You know, like, just please see me over everybody else. I’m the only dog in this room. So that didn’t work out well. The sells advantage over here. As I said, you know, you’re trying to market these dogs and satellites being marketed a bunch to Bucks County SPCA. And they’re like, Oh, no, no, we’re good, We’re good. We’re good. And to other organizations as well. I mean, Sal was his own unique, truly individual character. SPCA, the triad that we worked with a lot too, is just like, All right, look, we’ll take Sal. Thank you. So, him being there from November of 18 to like the end of February 19 Sal finally gets out of the shelter. We just recently this weekend got like, a Facebook update on Sal. His new name is Dublin, and he has a wonderful family. And he just graduated basic obedience school. So Yeah. So that was really cool with SaL. Yeah, we’re really excited about that. It’s always nice when I know after four months of being in that kind of environment, how they thrive, it just takes the right family, the right person, and then some obedience. 

So the last thing I want to talk about is I want to know what’s coming up in the future for you. Any kind of programs or anything you want to share with the community that you could get some support on? We have a few upcoming events that we have going on. We are planning to participate in the Clear the Shelters. We’re excited about that. Excited and scared all at the same time. Get a little nervous. It’s from August 17 nationwide, and shelters can participate. I think it’s through NBC, Hill Science Diet and it’s one day where all the animals in the shelter, that are available for adoption, are free at no charge. So last year we did that from 1 to 5 and we adopted out 50 animals in one day. That was really cool. Um, as you can imagine, it was insane here, but really exciting to have that many animals leave and so many people excited about coming to the animal shelter. We have so many people that are just like, Oh, I could never go there. I could never go in one of those. That would make me too sad. And then just to see the place flooded. And then we try to make it seem like some sanity among it. We always try to have vendors come out. So this year, while people are you know, waiting in line and it’s hot, middle August, we’re gonna have a bakery come out and then we’re gonna also have, like, one of those Kona Ice vendors. A little food truck that does like, the snow cones and everything. So they’ll be out in the parking lot because, I mean, our building is not huge, but, like that many people at one time in one spot. No, let’s say our lot is not big enough to hold that many people coming to adopt at one time. We have that next week, and then we have our annual golf tournament. That is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We rely a lot on hole sponsorships, $50 to sponsor a hole. So anybody out there would like to donate to our golf tournament, $50 to sponsor a hole. We’d be glad to advertise your business. Speaking of vendors coming out to the shelter. One event that we’ve had since the beginning, the shelters Home for the Holidays. And that is what we like to encourage people to come out and look at your local shelter. So, of course, it’s an adoption event, so we can get animals home for the holidays. But not only on that day are we doing the adoption portion of it. We have the other half of our shelter set up as a rabies clinic. So we do a rabies clinic, microchips, and then we also have Santa Claus set up in another area, where they’re able to take your children’s pictures. You know, whether you’re here to adopt or not. We just encourage you to come out and get your photo made with Santa. And if you adopted a new pet, he could be in the picture, too. We’ll have companies come out, Pet Sense comes out, and they set up a table. Last year, they made little ornaments with kids that were here. We’ll have different vendors, we’ll have some food vendors that will come out. So it’s a really big community today for us. You’ve got all different types of people coming to the shelter, whether they’re here for their own personal pet, getting a rabies shot. Or they here to adopt a new pet. Or if they’re just here to come out, meet Santa Claus with their kids, It’s involving the community and getting a bunch of people out to see what we’re kind of all about. 

So we’ve actually talked a lot about a lot of things today. Is there anything else that we may be missed that you want to mention before we wrap things up? We have any viewers that want to donate to our organization. We are very easy to donate to. We have an Amazon wishlist because, like I said, we’re always in need of dog food, cat food, cat litter so that I mean we will trade you animals for dog food. I love that! We’ll definitely put the word out there if we can find you guys some receiving organizations. And, of course, if there’s any volunteers out there, right, who are looking for some help and want to snuggle some kitties and walk some dogs, we’ll definitely push them your way. Britney, I’ve really enjoyed my time with you. I’ve learned a lot about your organization, and I’m really impressed with everything you guys have been doing. So thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you. Thank you for your time.

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