Our Turn: Love at first fluff
A French poet, by the name of Anatole France once said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
What is the importance of the Humane Society? One may ask. Well, we believe that every animal should have a good home, and if they are not in a good home, then they should be removed from that situation as soon as possible. The Humane Society is most likely where they would end up. The Oneida County Humane Society has been providing stray and abandoned animals with a temporary home since July 2012, when they took over the operation, and changed the name from the Rhinelander Animal Shelter, to the Oneida County Humane Society Adoption Center.
When they arrive, they are treated with love and kindness, despite any disfigurements, illnesses or disabilities they may have. Then, they are placed according to their state of health. Since we only volunteer with the cats, we will give you examples based off of the accommodations that are available for them. There is the sick cat room, the shy cat room, the adoptable cat room, and the stray or new arrival cat room, so there is a place for all kinds of conditions that they cats may be in. The sick cat room is where they place the cats that come in if they have a contagious cold, or other illnesses, and need to be seen by a veterinarian. The shy cat room is where they house the cats that have issues with other cats, are aggressive, shy, or aren’t very comfortable with people. The adoptable cat room is where they put cats that have just been fixed, and have been looked at by the vet. These are also the ones that they feel are ready for people to adopt them, and there are usually a lot of them that are out of their cages as well, so you will often see cats roaming throughout the rooms. And lastly, the stray/new arrival room is where they put the cats that are just dropped off, and still need to see the vet to make sure they don’t have any diseases or illnesses, or need to be fixed, so they can be eventually adopted.
So that was a bit about the shelter itself, but the purpose of this article is to talk about volunteering and why we feel it is important and beneficial to the cats. To start off, we decided one day that we wanted to volunteer to help out and socialize with the cats. We go every Tuesday after school, and every other Thursday. Some things we help with are feeding the cats, brushing them, cleaning their litter if it’s needed, and our favorite thing is petting the cats, and making them love us. Just kidding, some of them don’t really like us, but that’s not the point. Anyway, by us petting the cats; especially the ones in the shy cat room, we are getting them more used to people.
What is the importance of volunteering at an animal shelter? Well to start off, we volunteer because we both share the same obsession with cats, and we both were in need of community service hours, so we figured that this would be a great way to get our hours, but we are doing something that we love as well. Our job as volunteers is very important to the cats because even though the staff is there, and they love the cats too, they aren’t always able to go back there and give them as much attention as they actually need. So we go and pet them, and get their fur all over our clothes because we care about them that much. This interaction with the cats reduces stress on not only us, but them too, and we quite enjoy relieving our stress through petting fluffy cats.