Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Delivering a Mother’s Comfort – Part 2

It can be tough to provide comfort and help to the animals that may need it most. While there are many that need our love and care, those with behavior problems or ailments pose a particular challenge. They may not be readily adoptable, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

Helen Shen learned this recently with us. “I was one of the volunteers for Rational Animal's Mother's Comfort Program Part 2,” she wrote to us recently, “delivering beds and toys to dogs and cats at the Animal Care & Control of Manhattan.” This wasn’t Helen’s first visit, but on previous occasions, she stayed with the dogs that had higher hopes for adoption.

The Mother’s Comfort Program consists of two parts. Before the phase in which Helen participated came Part 1, in which volunteers donated time and effort sewing beds and toys. They were distributed to the animals in the second phase of this effort.

Noting the chaotic environment, not to mention her personal concerns about dogs with particularly stressful histories, Helen explained that she was reluctant to reach out to these animals. Later in the day, however, she realized that, even though these dogs were a bit more challenging, they still needed “the same kind of comfort that other more docile dogs were given.”

She continued:

“I can only imagine that they have never received that type of comfort and wondered if they were like humans deprived of a mother's love. In another ward, there was a dog that was so hyper and stressed from being in a cage that he bit his tail. I stood there helpless without knowing how to calm him. I could only alert the shelter's staff to his injury. It is really heartbreaking to see these animals in such an anxious and frightened state. From my understanding, animals learn the behavior they exhibit and can only get better through steady training which they will never receive due to the shortage of resources. Ultimately, I knew that these dogs would be euthanized.”

Helen stepped forward into an extremely emotional environment, and she quickly made a difference. Every animal that is abandoned presents a new tragedy for us. It’s easier to help some, but they all need our attention.

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