Monday, July 26, 2010

The impact of an animal shelter on our community.

~ by Lawrence Johnston, DVM

Many of the benefits to a community of an attractive, centralized and well operated animal shelter would be very difficult if not impossible to measure. However, they are none the less real.

A shelter would sell houses.
Among the many variables to consider when relocating to a new community is, "How nice is the neighborhood?” People like to be surrounded by and associated with compassionate and caring people. The facility's existence alone would speak volumes about what our community stands for.

A shelter would bring new jobs and industry to Troy.
Twenty plus years of veterinary medicine has taught me that many a tough business leader has a huge soft spot for animals that they seldom show elsewhere. A community and its leaders working together for a selfless cause such as animal welfare would not be ignored. The Pike Animal Shelter will bring good publicity to Troy.

A shelter would attract students to Troy University.
The "feel good" factor alone will have an impact on prospective students, but the primary benefit will be the educational opportunities in science, marketing, public relations and teacher education.

A shelter will make us live longer.
The human health benefits of pet ownership are well documented and include lower blood pressure, less stress etc. A shelter will make it feasible for more people to find a pet and, alas, find a new home for those animals they "just can't keep.”

A shelter will improve the quality of our lives.
Simply put, helping animals makes people feel better about themselves and others who are doing likewise. We are often frustrated when our well intentioned individual efforts don't seem as productive as we would like. A shelter will make it easy for that individual to help that animal and feel better about themselves.

A shelter will improve the community itself.
The emotional health of individuals and the community can easily be assessed, maintained and even treated by individual and collective interaction with the strays and unwanted animals that community has produced. The willingness of a group to put forth their energy and resources towards these animals defines that community's character. The presence of a warm, sweet puppy will calm a traumatized child or adult, and caring for helpless animals could help young people in trouble find their way.

Let's build this shelter. It's the right thing to do!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Come visit us at the Pike Farmer's Market!

Come visit a Pike Animal Shelter Volunteer at the Pike Farmer's Market behind First Methodist Church in downtown Troy. We have free smiles and free cookbooks! Saturday mornings at 7 am, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 5 pm.

PHOTO: A Pike Animal Shelter adoption success makes her visit to the farmer's market to say hello to Kristin, shelter public relations coordinator.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yard Sale raises $4000! (And some unexpected graces)

The May 25, 2010 Pike Animal Shelter Yard Sale raised $4000!! What a great step in fundraising to build a new shelter. Thank you to every volunteer! This was not an easy job, and the tremendous result is a testimony to a lot of planning, hard work, sweat and muscle.

In addition to the funds raised for a good cause, there were some special sales during the day on Saturday that were the kind unexpected graces we find when we are working on this good cause:
  • An 18-year old girl who is in foster care is now set up with a nice love seat, desk, chair, and two end tables so she can begin independent living. Her foster mother chose these items to help her get started on her own, and volunteers selected some sheets, blankets and kitchen items to help her also. We had a chance to meet two younger foster children, too, who touched our hearts with their sweet spirits.
  • A local minister who travels to Cuba on missions of music and faith will be taking his Cuban friends a trombone and a trumpet on his next trip. His Cuban friends play instruments held together with tape and wire, so the great purchases he and his wife made will soon be bringing music and the gospel to Cuba.
  • A commercial food scale donated by the family of a restaurant owner who passed away was purchased by a volunteer for a horse rescue group. She will use the scale to weigh supplements and medicines for horses she is rehabilitating.
On this day after the yard sale, we volunteers are nursing sore backs, sunburns and mosquito bites, but our salve is knowing we took a big step in helping the animals, we strengthened our friendships, and we found some unexpected graces along the way.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interact Club Members at CHHS make gifts of collars and leashes

At their May 4, 2010 final meeting for the school year, Charles Henderson High School Interact Club members presented Pike Animal Shelter volunteers with collars and leashes to help shelter dogs as they find new homes at adoption events. Thank you club members! You're Awesome Shelter Helpers!

We're shovel ready!

The vision has become a building plan! For 3+ years, shelter leaders have been working on the criteria for an animal shelter that will meet the needs of our community. Now, with the help of architect Chuck Jones, the list of facility requirements has turned into a site plan, floor plan and rendering.

Several criteria drove the selection of the shelter site at 800 Henderson Highway, in the heart of our community. The shelter must be easily accessible to community members as well as animal control officers. It must be visible to passersby and in a location that families will want to visit. It must have appropriate utility access and meet other construction-related criteria. These criteria have been met in land at 800 Henderson Highway, and this land has been donated by Walt Stell and Andy Murphree of Troy. These generous men have given our community something that our children and grandchildren will benefit from!

The new shelter will house approximately three times as many dogs as can be housed in the current city of Troy facility. In addition, the shelter will accept and house cats! With the shelter built to modern and professional shelter criteria, it will provide animals with an easily maintained, easily cleaned and positive environment and much better chances of finding adoptive families.

With a companion animal park next to the facility, this facility will become part of our community life. Children and youths can access educational programs. Neighborhoods, businesses and individuals will have a positive resource for strays, and more. The facility will also create one and one half new jobs in our community!