As we begin a new year, we are compelled to look back over the past twelve months and all they have held for us here at SICSA. Last year certainly held challenges, but there were also a plethora of triumphs and opportunities worth celebrating.
It is hard to believe we moved from our last building into our current home nearly one year ago. Shortly after celebrating our opening, COVID-19 took the world by storm. With the Stay at Home Order in place, we made the decision to place our pets with our loving foster volunteers. We are eternally grateful for the way our foster volunteers stepped up and welcomed these animals into their homes. At the same time, our veterinary clinic was able to donate PPE when the medical community was in need.
During this time, we turned our annual Lift Your Leg fun run into a virtual event. SICSA supporters were able to participate by running in their own neighborhoods, and sharing photos to our Facebook group. Participants cheered each other on in the comments, and reminded us how we could continue to be a community, even while staying apart and keeping one another safe. We hope to go back to our in-person race this year, and appreciate the enthusiasm we saw during Lift Your Leg: Gone Virtual in 2020!
As soon as we were able to do so safely, we reopened our adoptions with new precautions. We began taking appointments and, despite everything going on, we were able to send hundreds of pets to their loving forever homes. We also held multiple socially distanced adoption events, where potential adopters could safely take home pets for a reduced adoption fee. We were so pleased to see so many wagging tails and purring feline friends begin their new lives. If you are interested in welcoming a pet into your home, you can learn about our adoption process here.
We also continued to keep our doors open to Safe Pets. These pets were able to take shelter with us temporarily when their owners faced financial, medical, or other hardships during the pandemic. We were incredibly grateful to be able to offer this service to the Dayton community, and will continue to do so in 2021.
Beyond adoption and temporary placement, our Vet Clinic was also busy at work. Despite the pause on elective surgeries such as spay and neuter earlier in the year, last fall they far exceeded expectations. Our veterinarians and clinic staff were able to spay or neuter over 700 public pets in one month. This is on top of their work with animals in our care. We are extremely proud of their hard work.
In September we held our first annual Poop Show, a tongue-in-cheek game of chance that offered participants the opportunity to win $10,000. In a year where many of our fundraising events had to be canceled, this was an entertaining way to support SICSA and our pets, while staying safe and keeping things virtual. Through this event, we were able to raise vital funds for our center. You can read the recap off how the event played out here. We are already looking forward to hosting this exciting event again this year.
Throughout everything, our volunteers were our backbone. Even when they could not be in the building, they were supporting us in whatever capacity they could. From groups like Friends of SICSA sewing and selling hundreds of face masks, to our younger volunteers making toys for our pets, their efforts carried us through some of our toughest times. Once they could do so safely, we began to see smiling faces back in Kitty City aiding with kennel cleaning, out in the play yards walking dogs, or sanitizing inside surfaces to keep everyone in the building safe. We cannot overstate our gratitude for these selfless SICSA supporters. If you would like to join our incredible team of volunteers, you can learn more about how to do so here.
This look back just scratches the surface of the ups and downs of the past year here at SICSA. Regardless of the challenges the year presented, it also reminded us that the SICSA pack is truly a family. From volunteers, to supporters, to staff, to furry friends, we have proven that we are in this together, and for that we sincerely thank you. We hope your holidays were especially wonderful, and that you’ll join us in making this year even more memorable than the last.