After a year like 2021, it’d be pretty easy to take a breather.
It was hard on us. Especially after the roller coaster ride of 2020. But there’s no way it wasn’t just as hard – or harder – on everyone else. What I learned in that time is that I’m lucky. Even though difficult and sometimes scary, I felt fortunate to have this job doing something I like for the incredible people of this community. But above it all, one thing stood out to me more than anything else: the staff here are some of the finest humans I’ve ever known.
When it got hard, they didn’t hesitate to look at ways to keep helping people with pets. They didn’t lament the situation or mention being worried about themselves or curl up into a ball and quit. Instead, the one constant was their desire to be of service. “We have to stay open so people have a place to come” was the common refrain.
And come they did.
As 2021 came to a close nearly two weeks ago, we ran the numbers and were excited that we touched so many lives – almost 35,000 pets. The breakdown looks like this:
- 11,039 spay/neuter surgeries
- 16,969 wellness visits
- 6,000 pets seen by the outreach team
In addition, there were many pets helped with parvo, heartworm and other illnesses or injuries. In fact, if 2021 was a harbinger of things to come, it’s that we’re doing more and more to help pets who need it. That even includes dental care now.
But it also showed me that, despite seeing upward of 150 pets a day for everything from a puppy booster to a life-saving parvo treatment, that individualized care and kindness were extended to every pet here. I’m proud of this group of people for how they took their time with each individual that came through our doors and the kind of love and support they showed to them.
Why we do it
This is a simple one. It’s because we believe. We believe in the power of pets to make us better. And to make the world better. We believe that everyone deserves that kind of unconditional love and that the pets giving it deserve it in return. Because animals are individuals with their own thoughts, feelings and needs. They have been immensely good to us even though, collectively, we have not returned the favor.
When we are down, they lift us up. Just consider what our client Josh said of his dog, Lucy: “There have been a couple of times when I couldn’t catch myself,” he confessed. “But she did.”
Sorry for the double negative, but this is not something we hear infrequently. In fact, almost weekly people tell us their pets are the reason they live.
That’s why we do it.
Now to answer the original question I posed in the headline: what happens now? The bottom line is that we’re going to focus on helping more pets with more services. That means in the coming months, we’ll be making several exciting announcements about the changes coming at us, all in an effort to help with the increased need we’re seeing in our community. We don’t expect this to abate, even a little, and we’re doing what we can to be prepared.
Because, above all else, we’re here to help.