Joy! Unadulterated, exuberant, heartfelt joy!
By Maureen O’Nell, Chief Executive Officer, Suncoast Humane Society
Joy is not something we are talking about much these days, but here at Suncoast Humane Society during financially precarious and stress-filled times, joy is also part of our world.
If you have ever been to our shelter, you will know it is a place filled with love and skilled care, but not a place any dog, cat or small pet wants to stay for very long. Shelters are confusing and emotionally trying for even the steadiest of pet. All of the animals we help through the shelter have been abandoned or discarded. They have lost their families, and all of them want a forever home.
We have implemented a number of enrichment activities for these pets, like treat time and puzzles, even a treadmill program! But the very best program outside of adoption is fostering.
Fostering is a chance for the shelter pets to get a break from the kennels and spend time in a home with people who can offer them kindness and hope, belly rubs and ear scrubs. It isn’t a forever commitment, but a break from kennels and cages.
When the pandemic began to spread, we reached out to you all and asked for fosters to step up. And step up you have! We knew it was the right thing to do for our charges. What we didn’t know is how much this would lift our own spirits.
Daily we get pictures and videos of our animals on walks, chasing lizards, sunbathing, snuggling, snoring, and yes, even dancing. Oh, the wiggles in the butts we have seen! We laugh. We share. We are in awe of how compassionate you all are. And yes, we feel JOY during a time that weighs heavy on us all. If you could use a bit of joy in your life, consider joining our foster family network.
To learn more about Suncoast Humane Society’s available animals, programs, services, and different ways you can help, please visit www.humane.org or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.