Spring can't come soon enough!
Winter was harsh this year. It came early, and even though the snow and ice seem to be done it continues to dump rain on Delaware. All this cold, wet weather makes me want to curl up with my dogs and a good book in front of the fireplace and not come out until spring is finally here. The reality is there are no "snow days" at DHA; we must go in. The animals are counting on us.
Dealing with all the precipitation was especially hard at the shelter. Our staff and volunteers are to be applauded for braving the elements to feed the animals, wash and change their bedding, clean the kennel and cattery, walk the dogs, and cuddle the cats, whatever the weather. On top of our regular operations, removing snow from the kennels, parking lot and walkways was a frequent and costly occurrence.
The dogs didn't seem to mind the snow; in fact, they seemed to relish running and rolling in it. Watching them play was consolation for the weather and brought a smile to my face.
A few stories of animals who faced really tough times this winter remind me of why DHA is here, and we will continue to be here as a reprieve for these unfortunate animals until we can mend their bodies and spirits and find them a forever home.
A popular girl, she was immediately adopted and is enjoying love and companionship once again in a new home with three generations of ladies who cherish each day with her.
The dedication of DHA's foster parents continues to amaze me. Some take on the daunting task of caring for very sick, sometimes dying, animals and love them like their own.
|Rosie was found by a neighbor in the basement of her home weeks after her owner passed away. No one knew to look for her. When she arrived at DHA, Rosie herself was on death's door—starving, matted, and terrified. After receiving initial medical care and as much grooming as the scared little dog could handle, she was placed with a foster family.
The staff held their breath, hoping Rosie would make it, and make it she did! Her foster family built up her strength and loved her back to health. Before long, Rosie was ready to return to the shelter.
|Siblings Peg and Leg came to DHA after being found as strays. Both kittens were suffering from leg deformities—a rough start for such little ones. Peg's leg was the worse of the two, causing pain and injury to her when she attempted to walk.
Due to the seriousness of Peg's deformity, her right rear leg was amputated to eventually allow her to walk without pain and constant bleeding.
|If the animals improve and can be adopted, they lovingly pass them on to happy new homes. In other cases, they faithfully watch over and love the animals in their care, giving them comfort and companionship while they live out their remaining days.
Recovery from such surgery is not easy, and our staff was dedicated
to helping her learn to live on three legs. We knew that before long she
would be just fine and find a home of her own. Barbara Cannon was at DHA to adopt a kitten named Justine. She heard the newly arrived Peg's cries of pain and her heart went out to the little grey kitten. She decided right then and there that she would return to adopt Peg as soon as the surgery was done and she had recovered enough to be cleared for adoption.
The winter was especially hard on our facility, which continues to show signs of age. As cold and wet weather increases, so do the leaks on various parts of our roof, and we must continue to patch them. Our heater required several repairs this winter, and one of two hot water heaters was finally beyond the point of repair and had to be replaced. We are down to one commercial washing machine, which we keep going 12 hours a day, 7 days a week so the animals will have the comforts of clean bedding during their stay with us. We have obtained bids for a new commercial washer which average $10,000.
As you can tell from the stories in this letter, we could sure use your help in meeting the ongoing costs of helping all the animals we care for. And we could use some extra help, if you can swing it, to help us handle the continuing repairs.
Thank you for your past generosity to DHA. Your continued support will make all the difference in the lives of the thousands of animals who come through our doors and community outreach programs this year.
Please consider making a donation now to help us through these tough times. I am hoping you will send your tax deductible donation of $35, $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 today.
Thank you on behalf of the animals you will help.
|P.S. Plans for the new shelter to be built on our A Street property are in development and you can imagine how excited we are. We anticipate that construction of the new shelter will be completed by December of next year, a long-awaited, milestone event for our shelter animals, our staff and volunteers. You will be hearing all the news in coming weeks.