by Wendy Hunter
Wendy Hunter is a volunteer with the Animal Rescue of Fresno. ARF shares with KRL their animal rescue adventures every month.
To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is quite another. —Katherine Paterson
My fellow Americans, the world has officially gone mad. People are sheltering in place with Netflix and Domino’s, while trying to keep the kindergarteners entertained. This is the time when we earth dwellers need to find a common ground and be there for one another during this crazy, germ-filled crisis. Instead of stock-piling all the Kleenex, Purell, and Lysol we can find, let’s think about our fellow man. How about knocking on your elderly neighbor’s door, and see if he might need something. I know my eighty-five-year-old mom goes through tissues like crazy, especially during allergy season when the pollen takes up permanent residence in her nose. Or how about checking in on that single mom down the block? With four bored kids and one hyper hound in a two-bedroom apartment, you can bet her Clorox supply is running low. Who knew peanut butter could stick in between tiny toes for two-weeks? You could even cheer up some friends with a margarita party via Skype. Just make sure you’re wearing some clean sweatpants.
I feel for those of you that are stuck at home, snacking on snacks, watching movies, and snuggling with your sweetie. I’m sure those first couple of weeks were like being on staycation, but I’ve a feeling right about now, the thrill is gone. The boredom has officially arrived! Hey, you could be in my shoes, hanging out with a skeleton crew at work. It’s such a joy washing your hands raw, closing bathroom doors with your elbow, and trying to keep a six-foot distance from your co-workers. Please, don’t breathe on me. It’s not that I don’t like them, but in these days of gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizer one can’t help but feel a little anxious. A congratulatory hug or a pat on the back are things of the past. Luckily, my dog didn’t get the memo.Unfortunately, Animal Rescue of Fresno did get the memo. Like hundreds of other animal shelters across the country, ARF is now closed to the public and adoptions are taking place via appointment only. Darn! Obviously, this is for safety reasons, and out of an abundance of caution to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. All ARF events, including volunteer orientations, have been canceled until April 17, 2020. This precaution is in response to the recommendation of public health officials and our Governor to avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people. But even though the evil snake that is the coronavirus has risen its vile head, the appointment-only plan is proving very successful; ARF adopted out twelve dogs this past weekend. To adopt out that many dogs in two days adds up to one small victory at our facility. A dozen down, only seventy-five more to go! During this awful pandemic, it might seem like the perfect time to get yourself a new best friend. Why not? You’re indoors, with all the time in the world, and your well-stocked pantry includes several cans of Vienna Sausage. So you go to your local shelter, donate a bag of dog food, and adopt the buddy of your dreams. For the next few weeks, you toss toys, snooze on the sofa, and watch hours of the Dog Whisperer. But what happens when you go back to work? Your pooch will be lonely without you. Hey, where’s my human? Perhaps a better idea would be to foster a dog instead. You can still help a local shelter, and it’s only a short-term commitment. You get the companionship you’re craving, and you give that dog his best chance at getting adopted. You’ll be able to share important information with a potential adopter, like the dog’s eating habits, energy level, and personality traits. Drinking out of the toilet at 3 a.m. is something you might want to share. Because our fundraisers are canceled, we’ve taken a big hit in the pocketbook, especially when we rescue a dog who requires extensive medical treatment. For example,“Chrissy,” a tiny four-year-old Chihuahua, came to ARF in terrible condition. She was being kept in a car where her owners sometimes forgot about her. Ugh. Our volunteer coordinator, Mindi, read Chrissy’s story and immediately agreed to accept her at ARF. When she arrived, Chrissy could walk, but only on her front paws, and it was obvious her back legs were very painful. Mindi agreed to foster Chrissy until we could make a vet appointment. It turns out Chrissy didn’t have a spinal injury, but luxating patella, which could be corrected. She has undergone her surgery, including a spay, and some dental work. Chrissy is still in foster care where she is recovering nicely. Because her surgery was close to $1500, ARF is asking for the public’s help. If 300 people would donate only $5 each, we could pay off that vet bill quite easily. Let’s see, a Starbucks coffee drink, or helping to save one lucky dog’s life. Hmm, that’s a tough one.
Speaking of which, there are a lot of tough questions out there regarding the coronavirus. Many of you are wondering if your own pet could become infected with COVID-19 and spread it to you, or vice versa. According to the CDC, there are no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with the virus. However, they do recommend proper hand-washing after being around animals, their food, waste, or supplies. ARF would also recommend that you have an emergency plan in place, just in case you cannot care for your pets due to illness. Also, be sure your pets are wearing proper identification, and that you have extra pet food and supplies available. In addition, please identify a friend or family member that can offer you assistance, if needed. Like those times when Sammy the St. Bernard needs a little extra coaxing to get into the back seat of your Jeep. Big jump!
We hope you’re taking care of yourself, your family, and your four-legged friends throughout these very strange and scary times. Please be assured that our volunteers will continue to care for the dogs at ARF. They are being given all the love and attention they deserve, including any veterinary care that is needed. During our closure, you can still reach us via our Facebook page, through email, or on the phone at (559) 225-5715. Forging ahead, ARF will keep monitoring this situation, and inform you of any developments. Our main goal is to protect our volunteers and the generous community we serve. Thank you for your commitment to the dogs in our care. We are truly grateful for your support. Stay safe, and have hope.
“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops – at all.
Animal Rescue of Fresno
4545 E Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section and check back every month for another animal rescue adventure from ARF. Advertise in KRL and 10% of your advertising fees can go to a local animal rescue.
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