Pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion

The Compass - - OPINION -

Some peo­ple fall in love with them from the mo­ment of in­tro­duc­tion. For oth­ers, it takes a while to warm up and get used to the idea of hav­ing them around. And then there are those that would have noth­ing to do them.

House­hold pets have the abil­ity to evoke strong emo­tional re­ac­tions, be a sup­port for their own­ers and com­fort those in need. Like­wise, they can be seen as pests and bur­dens.

And if not taken care of prop­erly, pets can be­come quite messy and un­bear­able.

Then there’s the whole de­bate about whether or not pets should be eu­th­a­nized. Some pet own­ers and an­i­mal shelters put down an­i­mals for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons – in­clud­ing ter­mi­nal ill­nesses, dis­eases that would cause more pain to live with, be­hav­ioral prob­lems, old age and lack of suit­able homes.

There are other pet own­ers and groups that refuse to kill any an­i­mal, un­less ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary, and be­lieve they just need to find a proper and sup­port­ive home.

Stephenville’s So­ci­ety for the Care and Pro­tec­tion of An­i­mals car­ried on for many years as a ‘no-kill’ shel­ter. Un­for­tu­nately, the shel­ter’s days are num­bered and an­i­mals liv­ing there are in dire need of find­ing suit­able homes.

Re­gard­less of your opin­ions on the no-kill shel­ter, the work of Gwen Samms and her group of vol­un­teers has to be com­mended.

It takes a spe­cial kind of per­son to do what they have done over the years – sav­ing and car­ing for count­less an­i­mals that have, for what­ever rea­son, been un­able to find homes of their own.

Through do­na­tions, door-to-door cam­paigns, sell­ing tick­ets around town, hold­ing auc­tions and other fundrais­ers, this non-profit group has re­ally shown their ded­i­ca­tion for both the shel­ter and the an­i­mals housed therein.

It’s some­times hard to imag­ine what it must have been like to en­ter the shel­ter’s doors ev­ery day, deal­ing with a sit­u­a­tion many have de­scribed as be­ing less than ideal.

But trudge on they did, hold­ing fast to the ideals Bar­bara O’Keefe laid out when she first opened doors un­der the SCAPA ban­ner.

As var­i­ous of­fi­cials work to­gether to de­velop a new an­i­mal shel­ter for the area, one hopes Ms. Samms and other vol­un­teers can be part of the so­lu­tion – if they so choose.

Un­doubt­edly, there are many would-be pets that need some sort of shel­ter and pro­tec­tion un­til they are adopted. And for those who find them­selves un­der the care of Ms. Samms or other lo­cal vol­un­teers, they are in­deed in good hands.

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