Thursday, October 23, 2008

Volunteering at the OSPCA

It was a long process involving orientation, interview and training, but I'm finally a full-fledged volunteer at the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), York Region Branch. Yesterday was my first day on the "job", and it was amazing.

First, let me give you the lay of the land at the centre: there is only so much room for cats in the adoption area -- I'm guessing 60 or so -- where the public can view and mix with the animals. The other two hundred or more cats are kept in the back until there is room in the public area, or they're okayed for adoption. This is where I was set to work cleaning their cages, litter boxes, bedding and dishes. These large cages are cleaned daily, and many rooms have windows, but I don't think I need to tell you that it's heart-breaking to see these animals waiting for the next step in their lives -- getting into the adoption area so they can find loving families.

[Excuse me while I take a moment to have a bit of a cry. Surprisingly, I didn't cry while I was there -- it seems to be affecting me more now].

Okay, I'm back.

It took four hours for myself and another new volunteer to clean the cages of about 35 cats. I'm sure once we get the hang of it, we'll be able to speed up the process. Eventually, I'd like to take an extra hour or so to socialize with each cat, but there are other cages and rooms needing cleaning -- and there are only so many volunteers and staff to do the job.

It's obvious that the people working at the OSPCA love these animals, and I admire their dedication and hard work. But this is not the life that these cats signed up for -- they need a welcoming home, and room to run and play. Some of the cats in the back have been there for months! Please, if you know someone interested in adopting or buying a pet, steer them to the SPCA. There will always be people to buy the registered purebreds, but there are never enough to adopt from the shelters. These cats (and dogs) are gorgeous, friendly beings who deserve more.

Note: The photo is not of one of the cats.


NuclearToast said...

Lynn, your big heart is giving those cats more than you realize. It's the people like you that drag the rest of humanity kicking and screaming into a better future.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thank you, NT. I know that you (and all my readers) are already part of that better future.

jan said...

There is a place in heaven for you and there will be a lot of dogs and cats to welcome you.

Lynn Sinclair said...

Then heaven is where I want to be -- imagine spending eternity with those lovable friends.

Georgie said...

It's a wonderful thing that you're doing for these animals, Lynn!

Lynn Sinclair said...

Thank you, Georgie. I think it will be very satisfying, though frustrating because there's only so much anyone can do for these homeless pets.