By Janaia Hutzal
It is through the commonality of love and compassion for animals, along with getting to know the needs of each of its individual communities that the Cochrane & Area Humane Society (CAHS) is able to create solutions to generate positive change.
When the CAHS staff and volunteers make community visits; whether that is to a store, an event or to lend a hand up, it is done with this common ground in mind. Each visit is a chance to promote animal adoption and an opportunity to educate on the importance of spaying and neutering, vaccinating, pet health and safety.
For the past 20 years, staff and volunteers from the CAHS have made weekly visits to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation community providing food donations for those in need and other means of support.
Janine Rossler, with the CAHS, was fundamental in initiating the program. She says the visits are important because the Nation does not have onsite veterinary or animal welfare services.
“Over the years, hundreds of dogs and cats have been spayed and neutered, provided with permanent identification, the benefits of vaccination and parasite control,” says Rossler.
Hundreds of surrendered pets have also had the opportunity of rehoming through the shelter’s adoption program. And, like all community visits, it is a great way to build a relationship with and educate each person they come in contact with.
“We want to offer a reliable and trusted presence accessible to community members and provide continuity of support on a weekly basis - rain, snow or shine.”
Sheila French is a CAHS volunteer who has seen first-hand the positive improvements in the condition of the animals.
When it comes to surrenders French says, “Lots of times they’re in tears and we’re in tears; it’s very sad.”
Every day the CAHS receives animals from those in our various communities for many reasons. A humane society’s job is not to judge the “why,” yet it must be asked to help with creating future programs for prevention and for the immediate care of the surrendered animal. Most importantly, the shelter offers a trusted promise to do its best for each animal that comes for a shelter stay.
Whether at home, work or out in the community, realizing common ground is the first step in laying positive groundwork for positive change in the entire world – the animal world included.