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Catching up at the Humane Society

It's a grey day at the farmette. Expecting rain any minute now, and I'd welcome it. Yesterday, I put a layer of sheep manure on my beds, and it'll be good to get them well incorporated.

We finally got organized enough to get to the new Guelph Humane Society building. Rob and I decided late last year to sponsor a cat cage for this year, and Jennifer Fraser, the co-ordinator, took us on a tour of the entire facility on Thursday. What a treat!

It's so clean and modern and big - 8,000 square feet, which is about five times the size of the old facility on Wellington. They also have a lot more staff - about 32 - and dedicated rooms for all the animals - cats, dogs, rats, gerbils, bunnies and all manner of wildlife. Jennifer told us that, of the 3,000 animals they rescue every year, half of them are wildlife - squirrels and birds and opossums and turtles and such. Amazing.

Here's the actual cage. We dedicated it to our Nick and Nora, and even have a photo of the pair of them right on the sign.

The current resident's name is Christopher. He's a seven-month-old black kitten with a stubby tail. He's very sweet and cuddled up nicely when I picked him up.

We took my friend Pat who adopted her Alice Anne from the shelter a few years ago.

The new digs are a far cry from the old building, where, when I was volunteering, we had to make do and jerry-rig almost everything. Space was always at a premium, and sometimes we had to put the rat cages in the cat room, which meant there was some interesting stares across the way.

The board room doubled as an animal room when there was an overflow. There were only two washers and two dryers for the entire facility - both of which broke down regularly from wear and tear. Now, they have new huge commercial-grade washers and dryers to take care of all the critters' needs.

Everything works at the new location, there are enough people and they have about 300 volunteers!!!

Here's Rob with Pat in the background in the public cat room. Cool, eh? There are also separate rooms for cats that are newly rescued, and a quarantine room for sick kitties.

The cage designs are the latest, with little domes that they can put their heads in to look around. There's lots of light and they have little curtains for the really shy ones. They're roomy cages and, on the opposite side of the hall, there are actual mini- bedrooms for the larger kitties, like Karson, who's 28 pounds of love. His story is that he was declawed (BOOO!) and now he has arthritis in his paws. He porked up because it hurt so much to walk. Now, he's on medication and has a proper diet. So he's much more comfortable - so much so that he kept pulling my hand toward him to get more pets!

There's an outdoor catio that they're going to outfit with different levels for the felines to climb, sit on and sun.

The dog kennels are well-designed and have access to the outdoors as well, with the pull of a cord. There are lots of trails all around the facility for taking them for walks.

It was a wonderful morning, especially since we found out that the organization is getting really close to finishing its $10 million building funding drive. Less than a million to go. YAY.

Since we have enjoyed the company of most of our rescues courtesy of the Humane Society (Nick and Nora included), Rob and I are glad to be contributing to the good work they do there every day.

Until next week.


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