It is just after dinner, and you are
curled up in your favorite chair, watching television, when that
commercial comes on. You know the one. Poor, homeless puppies and
kittens stare out at you pitifully from behind rusty bars while Sarah
McLachlan croons a sad, slow melody in the background. And, let's be
honest, most of us change the channel or turn off the television,
because we can't stand to see the suffering of the animals portrayed
on the screen before us.
But whether we turn off the TV or dig
around in the couch cushions for some money to donate to the cause,
the fact still remains that the plight of homeless and feral animals
in overcrowded shelters is a sad reality in today's world.
news is that there are several ways to help these animals in your
area, thanks to the service of the Monroe County Animal Shelter in
Madisonville. If you are interested in becoming involved with the
animal shelter, there are a number of ways to do so.
money to the shelter is one way to go about this, as well as
volunteering to walk the dogs, clean the cages, scoop the litter
boxes, or play with the cats in the cat room- or, like local animal
lover, Michelle Scheuer (Vonore), you can take it a step further and
get involved with the shelter's fostering program.
On top of her
husband, two daughters, two dogs, and four cats, she has an
ever-fluctuating family of foster animals that she takes in on a
constant basis, sometimes giving a foster home to as many as
twenty-two kittens at a time.
Animal fostering is similar to the
human foster care system. Scheuer explains, "The Monroe County
Animal Shelter is a very small shelter that takes in 300-500 animals
each month - sometimes more. The space is extremely limited, so in
order to save as many animals as possible, they are placed into
foster homes before going to rescues. When puppies or kittens come
into the shelter, foster families are called on to take them home for
anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The puppy or kitten goes
home with their foster family to be cared for and socialized. When
it's time for them to leave, they have a short examination by a vet,
and then they go to a rescue. The shelter works with many rescues
with some of the main ones being in New York and Atlanta. These rescues
are in areas where there are far fewer animals available and more
people wanting to adopt. It's a win-win situation."
See full story in the Wednesday, Sept. 4, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.