|Just One More Dog
Dear Bay Weekly:
This letter to the editor is in fact an open letter to a friend.
I was sorry to learn how disappointed and angry you were when you called the Humane Society of Calvert County to ask us to take in a stray dog and were turned down.
To support this "one dog" to the point where it is adopted (we are a "no-kill" facility) requires 1. A space at the kennel or a willing foster home. 2. Money to pay the bills. 3. Volunteer manpower.
We were filled to capacity, not only at our Fishing Creek Kennel in Sunderland but also in our foster homes.
To support just "one dog," it requires people to clean the kennel, disinfect the runs, water and feed twice a day, walk the dog each day, transport the animal to and from the vet, give medication, bathe, groom, clip nails, launder its blanket and any towels, wash the bowls and transport the dog to various places to show it for adoption.
Up to this point, if different people walk the dogs each day of the week, we need a minimum of two staff and 12 volunteers. And these are just the hands-on volunteers. There are also volunteers who order and pick up supplies, pay the bills, rake the gravel, trim the hedges, keep the paths in order, water the grass, remove snow and rainwater from the overhead tarps, keep the kennel in good repair, clean the large outdoor runs, pick up dog food, publish our newsletter, work on fund-raising and publicity, provide humane education, staff tables at various functions, answer our correspondence and maintain our membership - and that's a partial list. You must multiply this number when you factor in our separate cattery in Sunderland.
We have 55-plus dogs and 20-plus cats.
Our volunteer kennel manager works seven days a week. Most of our volunteers work full-time jobs and then put in time at the kennel. We are bone-tired, but satisfied, at the end of the day.
What do we get for this? That special moment when a family meets a dog and says "Did you ever see such a beautiful dog?" and we know we've made a match.
My friend, instead of criticizing us for not giving more than we are capable of, I invite you to join us. We need and would deeply appreciate your help. As you can see, the more volunteers we have, the more dogs we can take care of and show, and the faster they will be adopted. With enough help, we'll never have to turn anyone down.
I invite you to call Peggy, our volunteer coordinator, at 410/257-7681 to offer your help.
-Sally Lounsbury, Dunkirk, for the Humane Society of Calvert County