By Kathleen Beaver, President & CEO
I have a slightly frayed, red dog bed under my desk. It’s filled with matching, slightly frayed dog toys. They belonged to Bella.
I never met Bella but I know she was loved. I met her owner in the parking lot just a day after Bella passed away. Her mom was understandably distraught and said the only thing she could think to do to ease her pain was to bring Bella’s bed, extra food and beloved toys somewhere that they would make a difference.
And they are making a difference.
The food has long since been distributed through our free pet food bank. And as for the toys and bed? While they get attention from time to time from a visiting resident, they remain in my office as a reminder. A reminder of the magnitude of the deep bond we build with our pets. The joy of their presence. The heartache of their loss.
But it’s the middle part that we oftentimes miss. The day-to-day, joyful, sweet, frustrating and sometimes mundane stuff in the middle that we take for granted. It’s also here that pet owners often need the most help.
Here at Animal Friends, this is where we do our best work. Through our network of supportive programs, we can help make that “middle” time richer, sweeter and hopefully longer. From behavior training classes and play yard rentals to our pet food bank and wide array of deeply discounted veterinary services, our goal is to provide the resources necessary to keep pets in their homes – supported and loved.
We all struggle sometimes. And right now we are seeing people struggle more than ever. But that doesn’t mean a pet should go hungry. Or without medical care. Or lose their home.
Animal Friends is here during that “middle” part to lend a hand, offer a bit of advice or low-cost services. So whether you are in need of assistance yourself or are able to pay it forward with a donation for a pet in need, know that we are here – every day – in case life gets a little messy.
From all of us at Animal Friends, thank you for your belief in our mission and we wish you a holiday filled with peace and compassion.