By Nora Vondrell, Executive Director
We have been chasing around plans to start our SICSA Blog for several years now. Finally, we decided we just need to kick it off. And what a better time to do it than at Thanksgiving.
We started November with our Volunteer Recognition Banquet, where we honored the hours of service the community has provided in so many different capacities. We will end it with Furry Black Friday, a day of fun for staff and adopters with special promotions and activities.
In reality, however, one banquet, one event or one season of celebration isn’t enough. SICSA is thankful all year long.
We are thankful for:
- Lisa Oates, who has been working to help prevent unwanted kittens in her Belmont neighborhood. Once overrun with stray cats, Lisa has worked with SICSA to spay/neuter and vaccinate these strays. These “community cats”, would never be adoptable. Not quite feral, but having grown up in their neighborhood, the street life is for them. However, spaying, neutering and vaccinating is keeping them from producing more homeless cats exponentially.
- The SICSA Veterinary Clinic Staff. These high-skilled individuals could easily work in one of the community’s swanky Veterinarian clinics. They would most likely get paid better, have an easier schedule, and better equipment. Instead, they choose to work at SICSA, saving lives every day.
- The Philanthropic children who choose donations to SICSA instead of birthday presents. The children who hold bake sales, lemonade stands, and product drives. Their selfless acts
reinforce for us that the humane education message is getting through.
- The parents of those philanthropic children, for raising these kind and concerned human beings – and for allowing SICSA to be a part of their human lessons.
- The dog kennel volunteers who show up in rain, sleet and snow to ensure our dogs get at least 4 good walks a day. Their kindness can be seen in the eyes of the dog waiting for his forever home. “Pick me! I know how to walk on a leash. My friend, Volunteer Paul New, taught me how”.
- The Liberty Center cat volunteers. Every Monday, these men and women overcome physical and developmental challenges to help socialize and clean up after our cats. They, and the hundreds of other cat volunteers who support us over the years, are proof that love has no bounds and can transcend species.
Mark Schenk and Candace Nichols. Two new Paw Partners who come several times a week to run with our more energetic dogs. The two of them, and our over 150 other Paw Partners, have shortened lengths of stays here at SICSA for our most active dogs by allowing them additional opportunities to exert extra, pent up energy.
- Our kennel and adoption staff. They work long, weird and difficult hours. They get to know the animals, love them through difficulties, and yet rejoice
when they find their forever homes. They let their favorites leave so they can make room in their hearts for the next one who needs their attention. They are the unsung heroes of animal rescue and adoption.
- Off-site volunteers like Kelly Naber and Carol Repic. They pack their cars with tents and materials – being sure to leave room for a furry friend or two. They represent SICSA indoors and out – no matter the conditions. They work evenings, early mornings and weekends. They can’t take all the animals home, so they do what they can to help each one have a better tomorrow.
- The Basner Family. No matter what time of day, they take our call to come in and foster animals in need. From bottle feeding newborn puppies to providing aftercare to a cat recovering from orthopedic surgery, the SICSA Fosters open their homes and their hearts for weeks to sometime months at a time. They scoop poop, clean daily, and even administer medication, all so these critters can get a chance at finding their forever home down the road.
- Emma, Debbie, Zandra, Renee, Julie, Carlette, Paul, Megan, Sandi, Jamie, and Jennie. These are the folks that keep the engine going. The plate spinners – constantly moving to make sure one doesn’t fall. They hire, train and support staff and volunteers. They make sure SICSA has the equipment and supplies we need. They make sure potential adopters know we are here and how the community can help. They stuff envelopes, create and distribute marketing materials, and make sure the van has gas. They plunge toilets, set up tables, make appointments, and try to help answers all kinds of questions – and that’s just on Mondays.
Our Board of Directors. A group of visionary leaders who are the foundation for of our team of volunteers and staff. They never stop asking me how they can help. They ask hard questions and expect results. But they don’t just sit behind a nametag and dictate. Even after working the job that pays their bills, they come to SICSA and help us plan for the future. In addition, they attend events, sell raffle tickets, and donate their season tickets. They open doors in the community we never even knew existed. They are an external source of knowledge and expertise we could never afford to hire, so they give of their time willingly.
- You! The SICSA community has clicked, donated, adopted, shared, and supported SICSA and our mission of promoting the welfare and adoption of companion animals, and nurturing loving, lifelong relationships between animals and people for over 40 years now. Without you, SICSA would not exist.
So, we launch the SICSA Blog today, during a season of celebration, and of thanks. Because we are thankful to still be here helping the hundreds of thousands of animals in our community, and to do so with all of you at our side.