Visit our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter this Friday or Saturday and you won’t just see animals in the dog and cat adoption areas, you’ll see people too!
That's right, one employee, two board members, and two volunteers will be spending 24 hours in our adoption areas without the comforts of their home, family, or cell phone. They will live in the dog runs and cat colony rooms, experiencing meal times, play times, and socialization much like the animals awaiting adoption. Their goal? To experience a night without family and the comforts of home, putting themselves into the 'paws' of homeless animals to help raise awareness and funds for our Enrichment Program, which supports the behavioral and emotional health of shelter animals.
After the last Night Without A Family event, participants wrote down their thoughts and feelings in response to the exercise, providing excellent insight into the sensations and emotions that shelter animals may be experiencing. “We’ve made some changes to our daily animal care routines as a response to this event and the feedback we received,” says Sunniva Buck, Executive Director of Cape Ann Animal Aid. “We have made it a real priority to get shelter dogs out for regular off-site adventures and have created different visual barriers in the animal housing areas to help calm those that may be anxious or overwhelmed.”
Last year, we found loving homes for 1,440 animals and we expect that number to grow by at least 10% this year. Through all of this, our focus continues to be not just on providing food, shelter, and medical care for animals in need, but also on their mental and physical well-being. The Enrichment Fund provides things like interactive toys and feeders, obedience classes, behavior evaluations, agility equipment, play yard and trail maintenance, and calming supplements.
“By definition, the Enrichment Fund really does focus on enriching the lives of homeless animals, helping them to feel comfortable, learn new skills, and prevent boredom through things like play therapy, socialization, and training games while they are awaiting adoption,” says Buck. “As an added bonus, these activities also help make for more well-adjusted pets in their new homes.”
Night Without A Family participants have created online fundraising pages to help meet their collective goal of raising $5,000 for the Enrichment Fund. Donations are encouraged online, in person, or via mail and can be made in sponsorship of an individual participant or of the group as a whole. We are thrilled to share that just this morning, we hit the halfway mark in our fundraising goal!
The 24 hour experience begins at 3pm on Friday, March 2nd and will conclude at 3pm on Saturday, March 3rd. See the tentative schedule posted below! Members of the public are invited to visit with both the animal and human occupants during normal open hours. Of course, our staff will be ready to process adoptions of real shelter animals too, hoping that many will find homes at the same time. Updates and live broadcasts will be posted throughout the 24 hour stay on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
We are looking forward to an exciting weekend ahead. If all goes well, we hope to continue this event in future years, eventually including members of the public and even public officials in the immersive and unique event. What do you think of this event? Sound off in the comments below and stop by and visit this weekend!
METHUEN HIGH SCHOOL - HURRICANE RELIEF DRIVE
The heartbreak and damage left behind in the wake of the recent hurricanes left all of us here at Cape Ann Animal Aid wishing we could do more to help. Supporters like you helped us fund animal rescue trips and get much needed supplies to rescue partners in Texas, the Virgin Island, Turks and Caicos, and Puerto Rico.
The students at Methuen High School wanted to help, too. Particularly struck by the plight of animals in Puerto Rico, several groups within the school worked together under the leadership of teacher, Malik Howshan, and created a plan to help. They would make posters and set up donation bins to collect much needed animal care supplies, food, and treats.
Because shipping items to Puerto Rico was a costly endeavor, they looked for a way to help the cause indirectly and on a more local level. That's where Cape Ann Animal Aid came into the picture. Referred by our rescue partners at All Sato Rescue of Puerto Rico, the boxes and boxes of donations collected by this upstanding group of students made their way to our shelter. As documented in earlier blog posts, several animals rescued in Puerto Rico were transported into our care in the months following the hurricanes. The donation drive at Methuen High School benefited these and other animals at our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter. Not only that, but with extra supplies on hand, more funds could be allocated to help with transportation and animal vet care costs for these rescued animals.
On November 17, 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing students that turned their desire to help into a mission of action (See slideshow below). Cape Ann Animal Aid volunteer, Pamela Ciccone, helped with the pickup and we even brought a few puppies along for the visit. The pups were originally found as newborns, abandoned in a ditch in Texas with their mother. They were wonderful (and cute!) ambassadors of thanks on behalf of the cause. I truly enjoyed meeting the students, hearing the pride in their voices as they spoke about the project, and learning more about their project process. Seeing the mutual joy shared by all involved -- including the puppies, who soaked up every ounce of attention -- is something I will not soon forget.
On behalf of all of the animals at Cape Ann Animal Aid, we send many thanks to the students of Methuen High School; teachers Malik Howshan and Johanna Fawcett; Tod Amazeen; Twig Mowatt; and all who made this project possible.
THREE CHEERS FOR THE INSPIRATIONAL AND GENEROUS YOUTH OF OUR COMMUNITY!
Here at Cape Ann Animal Aid's Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter, we are fortunate enough to experience the kindness of an animal-loving, selfless, and generous children and teenagers on a regular basis. This holiday season has brought an exceptional response from the youth of our community, much to the great benefit of homeless dogs and cats in our care. While it's hard to find the perfect words to extend thanks to these upstanding individuals, we try our best to honor their good deeds. At a time when their focus might be pulled to other endeavors, they have carved out time in their days and room in their hearts for our collective furry friends. From neighborhood bake sales to school-wide donation drives, birthday party collections to service projects, these kids teach us all a lesson in thinking global and acting local. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos and stories about child-organized donation efforts on a regular basis.
Director of Development and Communications
As our supporters and friends know, Cape Ann Animal Aid has been operating on all fronts these past two months. From donation drives to fundraising pleas for help, we continue to do all that we can to send supplies and accommodate increased intake from rescue partners in regions recently hit by hurricanes. While this goal was ambitious, and left our shelter filled to over 50% of our average capacity, we have the support of many to thank for helping to make it all happen. To date, we have been able to take in animals from St. Croix, Turks and Caicos, Texas, and Puerto Rico – with more rescue trips in the works.
But in the midst of all of this, we were compelled to maintain our previously scheduled rescue transport trips with partner shelters in other regions of the United States. These groups were not directly impacted by the hurricanes, but they were and are still facing an up-hill battle in regards to animal overpopulation and high euthanasia rates. These rescue partners in Georgia and Louisiana were still counting on us and we couldn’t let them down.
Thankfully, Cape Ann Animal Aid was recently awarded an $8,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support our Safe Harbor Transportation Program. The purpose of this grant was to help us extend our animal lifesaving efforts and serve the Petco Foundation’s mission to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them. Thanks to this funding support, we were able to uphold our previously-scheduled transport plans, saving 66 animals from Louisiana and Georgia since September 1st. We send deepest thanks to the Petco Foundation for believing in our mission and investing in this important work.
At the end of September, two of our staff members, Kayla and Jacquie, set out on one of these transport pick ups, coordinated in partnership with Sweet Paws Rescue. They drove over 650 miles to the meeting point in Virginia and returned to Massachusetts with 15 dogs and 3 cats from Louisiana. This trip included nursing mama, Foxy, and her seven puppies (seen below).
Last week, Cape Ann Animal Aid joined forces with several Massachusetts rescue groups and shelters, in partnership with All Sato Rescue, to save over 180 animals from Puerto Rico (see video below).
We were honored to be a part of this life-changing transport and we send thanks to all who made it possible, including Wings of Rescue, Mission Miracle K-9 Rescue and ILoveMyDogSoMuch.com. In addition, we send special thanks to our supporters, many of whom made donations towards the fuel expense for this trip. The outpouring of love, support, and interest in these animals has been overwhelming and truly heart-warming.
We welcomed six cats and eleven dogs from this transport here at our Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter. We gave them a few days to settle in and relax. Tomorrow, many will get spayed/neutered. We expect that they will be available for adoption later this week or this weekend so keep an eye on our website. They are looking forward to meeting you all very soon!
DONATION DRIVE UPDATE
There will never be enough words to thank you all for hearing our call for help and responding immediately with donations to help our rescue partners in hurricane-hit regions.
Cape ann animal aid
An opportunity for you to learn more about the mission and programs of Cape Ann Animal Aid. Sharing candid insights, guest columns, breaking news, and of course, adorable photos of shelter animals.