The DCHS puts in tremendously hard work every day so the animals that they rescue can have better lives. The board is constantly putting on fundraisers and doing nonstop work. The shelter itself is very clean and the dogs and cats there all have plenty of space to and plenty of outdoor time.
When I mention to my friends my love of the Dunn County Humane Society (DCHS) their response typically includes something about the sadness they feel at animal shelters. They go on to explain this is why they prefer to donate to specific DCHS fundraisers rather than volunteer their time. My response is always the same. While I think there are plenty of specific sad stories such as Snickers the 5-year-old dachshund who was surrendered by his owners because he wasn't wanted any longer, I always mention how well the animals are cared for. I know no matter how the animal finds their way to the shelter, they are treated with love and kindness. Each animal finds respect. Often there are tears when a cat or dog finds their forever family. The connections the employees form with those pets are sincere and I suspect everyone associated with the shelter would happily find another profession if that meant no animal ever found themselves without a place to call home and people who loved them.
In 2011, following the passing of my beloved cats Buddy and Lady, I agreed to foster a pregnant cat. Twelve weeks later I only had the heart to return three of the four kittens and decided to adopt Stanley and Momma Kitty. They call that foster failure. While I was sad to say goodbye to the kittens I had cared for and loved, I took some pride in knowing they had learned how to use the litter box, were comfortable with young children and didn't fear dogs. Just as our family had loved and cared for them, I knew they would enter the shelter and feel the same amount of love and concern. Not long afterward all those kittens were adopted.
I share my pet adoption story because, in addition to believing DCHS is a wonderful example of an animal shelter, it's also not a place to drive by and feel sadness towards. Instead, it's a place where thousands of cats, dogs, and people found refuge from the storm, meteorological and personal, as well as acceptance, love, and hope. It's a temporary home for some really cute residents and I encourage everyone to learn how they can further support the success of DCHS.