As a Shelter Manager of an Animal Shelter, I face a lot more than people will ever realize.
I have more than 170 pets, consisting of dogs, cats, donkey, horses and eagles.
I feel the emotions of each one of them which are not always pleasant. I get rescues that are scared, beaten, ill or abandoned. And yes, my pets are dirty…They’re all strays, well most of them are. They have never had a family before, they have never been taken care of before, and they’re fighting illnesses and sometimes contagious diseases, which can be harmful to human beings as well. But did your mother ever leave you alone when you were a child and fighting off a seasonal or viral disease? So how can one leave their pets in such conditions? They’re the loveliest creature from God.
The best parts are when you get to feed them, love them, play with them and you know they understand you on the same level, they know you are helping them; their eyes speak to you in so many ways. They love me unconditionally, even if I sometimes punish them for being too naughty. Their bonding with me is on a very different level; maybe I just can’t explain it. I love to see how they care for me, and how they wait every morning and welcome me with the same enthusiasm. The feeling when a pet recovers is just indescribable; it’s perhaps the most joyous feeling in the world. At the same time, there are tough decisions to make. When a pet is fighting a deadly disease and cannot be cured, to release him from pain, if to put him down or not.
At the same time while I cry over letting go off a beloved pet, I have to deal with people complaining that we don’t take care of our animals and criticizing our work. It really hurts that they can think so negatively when I love them all like my own. Running an animal shelter properly with policies and procedures in place is not easy. You’re constantly on your feet in the hot sun trying to save innocent lives. I deal with people who abandon their pets and then they blame us for keeping them in ‘bad’ conditions like poop and pee are not normal! They call me swearing and abusing on the phone at all hours of the night then complain that we were rude. It’s ridiculous. Dealing with 170 animals is not easy. Imagine having 170 animals at your house. I treat the shelter like my home and keep it as lovely as possible. But I really don’t care what they say, because at the end of the day, my team and I are the ones feeding our pets, cuddling them with a “see you tomorrow” gesture and tending to their injuries and diseases.
I strongly believe, whichever animal steps in from the gate of ACF, becomes my pet. They either take time to trust you because of a harsh past, or they immediately jump up on you because they know they have found “their person”.
It’s still a lovely feeling when one of my pets finds their forever home and gets adopted. They deserve a chance for that. However, life and death are not controlled by us, but we can do as much as we can by helping them have a peaceful life.
Society is majorly made up of human beings, and we not just have a responsibility to help our brothers and sisters, but other living beings as well which includes animals, having empathy for all is actually the right explanation for humanity. So let’s be those who feels for all, equally. ‘