While it is the hope of all shelter babies to be chosen and whisked away to a fur-ever home full of love — and while it breaks the heart of every animal lover to know so many have yet to have that joy — don’t worry. Because the life of our shelter babies, here at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast, is filled with more love and adventure than you might think.
The primary misconception is that the cats and dogs in our charge spend their days languishing in a chain-link cage, all day… alone. Not so. While we cannot lay claim to know what life is like for shelter animals at other facilities, we can assure you that each and every cat and dog that comes to reside here at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast is not only cared for, they are loved as if they were our own. Because… well. They are.
With the help of our many wonderful volunteers, every pet receives a lot of attention and care. Each dog is walked daily. The kennels and litter boxes are kept clean. The pups are supplied with snuggly beds and lots of toys. Some of the more socialized shelter babies are taken to nursing homes where they exchange much-needed attention and love with the facility residents.
All dogs have some supervised play-time in one of the large fenced-in runs. The more socialized pups get to enjoy supervised play-date time with other pups. Maybe they’ll have an outing for ice cream or cheese burgers, and don’t be surprised if you come to our office and find one of our fur-babies providing some front desk assistance!
Over at the cat cottage, volunteers like Ben actually read to the kitties. Ben even hand-makes toys to keep the fabulous felines entertained. Other volunteers get down on the floor to play and pet small clusters of kitties while others give one-on-one snuggle time.
Of course, we ensure that every animal has been spayed or neutered and receives all of their age-appropriate vaccinations. Any animal who needs medical care is taken immediately to a veterinarian. This is usually when we call on the services of one of our wonderful Foster Fur–Parents as they will likely need 24-hour care.
There are also times when we receive an animal that’s going to have babies. When the happy day comes, one or more of our qualified staff members will take that animal home and provide round-the-clock maternity assistance. All new fur-mamas and their babies are then monitored – taken home and brought back to our facility each day — and they are cared for 24-7 until the little ones are old enough and determined to be healthy enough to be placed for adoption.
As mentioned before, sometimes, the life of our shelter babies requires round-the-clock dedication. Some fur-babies need to be bottle-fed. We take turns doing that, too. Some need to be socialized. Some need obedience training and some just need to be held and reassured. Whatever they need, we make sure they have it… especially lots of love.
So, if you’ve been thinking you might have room in your heart and home for a healthy, happy fur-baby, we know where you can find one. But if you’re just passing by and you’re wondering how the furry residents at the Humane Society of the Nature Coast are doing — don’t worry. They are being cared for and loved as if they were our own. Because — until someone comes along to love and care for them as much as we do — they are.