Today I volunteered at an animal rescue place called Bobbi and the Strays (the website could be a little more aesthetically pleasing, but all the relevant info is there). I hope to be able to go back for a few hours every week. Each time I've visited since we've moved here the place is so clean, the animals all have clean cages, fresh beds and litter boxes, fresh food and water, and toys, volunteers are out walking the dogs, and I've noticed that there are always visitors in their storefront location and animals seem to be adopted regularly.
All the volunteers were lovely and I finally met Bobbi a few weeks ago. Aside from taking in my own much-beloved furlings, I know I can't save all the strays in the world -- but maybe I can help out in some small way at this one place, one animal at a time.
I was there for four hours today and, amazingly, in that short time four animals found homes! First, a pair of nearly identical two-month-old tabby kittens went to a lovely family. They'd come from Animal Control and the volunteer who'd been fostering them actually went with her husband to pick up two more on her way home!
Next was a lively five-month-old long-haired chihuahua named Nikki. Bobbi made a home visit first to make sure everything was in order; Nikki loved her new adoptive parents' other dog and seemed delighted with the arrangement.
Finally, a little poodle mix named Sam who'd stolen my heart becase the first thing I'd been asked to do as a new volunteer was to take Sam for a walk; I guess we bonded because we were both the new kids. He'd just arrived from Harlem (don't ask me how he wound up in Queens) the day before and was thin as a rail with a hind leg that stuck out at an odd angle--probably the leg had been broken and never set. It didn't slow him down any and I could barely keep up with him as he greeted everyone on the sidewalk and darted from flowerbed to lamppost to flowerbed.
Sam looked spiffy all freshly-bathed and I was shocked to see the veritable fleece they'd sheared off of him the night before. He loved all the other dogs and all the people that came in during the day. He only showed fear when I tried to put him in his crate for dinner, which set him to shaking and such sad whining that it nearly broke my heart. I relented and let him out to eat.
Shortly after his dinner Sam was destined to leave to make his forever home with someone who had recently lost his dog of 18 years. It was so touching and I'm so happy for little Sam. He'll make such a lovely companion. We had a fond farewell and he eagerly left with Bobbi's friend, who was to deliver him to his new life.
It was a good day.