Caring for shelter animals not easy

Published 7:40 pm Saturday, February 8, 2014

By Carey Sharp

As the harsh winter drags on, the hard work continues at the Mower County Humane Society.

Volunteers are still caring for an incredible number of cats and dogs. Adoptions are progressing nicely. But unfortunately, there is always a large list of animals waiting to enter the shelter.

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The work done by shelter volunteers is not easy. Many people express interest in volunteering, but only a few actually stick to it. Spending time with the dogs and cats is the desirable part of the job. It is what many people associate with shelter work: images of playing with puppies and cuddling with kittens. The reality is a lot different.

Shelter volunteers spend the bulk of their time cleaning. It is physically demanding. Cages, kennels and litter boxes must be scrubbed and sanitized every day. There are always dishes to be washed and a seemingly unending supply of dirty laundry.

Volunteers wash windows, vacuum and even clean the human bathroom. This work is done each day, in every type of weather.

Volunteers give baths, medications, vaccinations and transport animals to and from the veterinarian. They also worry and fret about the animals and love them deeply.

They give their hearts willingly, knowing that they’ll have to say goodbye at some point in time. It’s a job with no actual pay but some incredible benefits. There is nothing better than making a connection with an animal and being rewarded with a sweet purr or a sloppy kiss.

The MCHS is still fighting the battle of overpopulation. On Jan. 24, the shelter once again hosted the Minnesota Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (MNSNAP).

Thanks to this mobile veterinary service, close to 30 cats and dogs were spayed and neutered at a reduced cost to their owners. Low cost vaccinations and micro chips were also provided. The MCHS appreciates all the responsible pet owners who braved the cold to have their pets fixed.

Remember, even one litter of puppies or kittens is too much and has a drastic impact on shelters. The MCHS will host the program again on March 20. Please go to for appointment information and eligibility requirements.

 Annual Pasta Dinner on the horizon

The annual Pasta Dinner and Silent/Live Auction will be held on Sun., Feb. 16, at the Austin Holiday Inn Ballroom.

This event runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and will feature some wonderful items, such as a 32-inch Samsung television.

A football autographed by Adrian Peterson is certain to be popular. It comes with a certificate of authenticity, too.

Tickets are available at the door: $10 for adults and $4 for children 8 and under. This is the first big fundraiser of the year, so please join us for good food and fun. It’s always nice to see old friends and new ones, too.