It’s 7:30 a.m. at the P.A.W.S. Humane Center. Eager dogs and cats greet staff and volunteers with “good morning” choruses of howls and meows.
Like a well-oiled machine the day’s routine begins. Cleaning, feeding, walking – toys, blankets, and treats. With breakfast over, morning exercise begins and behind the scenes chores of laundry, dishes, and second-round cleaning (affectionately called “poop patrol”) get underway.
As noon approaches, final touches are taken care of – floors mopped, rugs vacuumed, paw and nose prints cleaned from windows. Everything is spic and span. The animals take their places.
The P.A.W.S. Humane Center doors open. Excitement builds as each pet prepares to put their best paw forward to capture the hearts of arriving adopters. “See me!” “Look at me!” “I can do tricks!”
P.A.W.S. adoption counselors assist each person or family in meeting and selecting their new furry friend. The warm and friendly atmosphere encourages comfort. People who were never able or willing to visit an animal shelter have commented that they are at ease here.
The pets tell a tale of love, not sadness – of hope, not despair. This is a happy place. . . a happy place built on love.
Since the Humane Center opened in October 2011 (eighteen months ago), 1458 dogs and cats have been placed in loving forever homes. Stand in our lobby for just a short time, and you will get a glimpse of the joy found when “love at first sight” turns into “happily ever after.”
As the end of the day approaches, the Center is filled with peace and quiet. The animals are tired, but content. Tomorrow is another day – maybe THEIR special day. But until then, each and every dog and cat knows they are loved. They are in a happy place.
What makes P.A.W.S. Humane Center so special? The people! The staff and volunteers . . . Who cuddle old dogs and coo over kittens - Who address each animal’s needs individually and lovingly - Who celebrate love every day by making the animals feel special and surrounded by people they can count on.
Helping save lives is infectious. Whatever your skills, regardless of how much or little time you have, you can be part of this magical happy place.
Volunteers are from all walks of life, but become kindred souls with their mutual love and respect for animals. By becoming a volunteer, you can do good and have a good time by sharing talent and time toward a cause you believe in wholeheartedly.
Visit P.A.W.S. Humane Center, 200 Charles A. Liddle Drive, Lawrenceburg, to see for yourself what a happy place it is. Our website, www.pawsofdearborncounty.org, has all the information you will need to find out ways you can volunteer or donate to help our animals.
Becky Foster is director of the Dearborn County P.A.W.S. Humane Center.