You all know the scene: you come upon a dog who is undernourished, chained to a fence, and out in the elements, and you wonder what can be done. There are agencies and places where animals can go to receive loving care.
Jessica LaValley, annual fund manager at the Toledo Area Humane Society (TAHS) explains the organization’s “primary focus is to find forever homes for animals in need.” TAHS investigates almost 2,000 complaints a year and asks “anyone who witnesses animal cruelty, who knows of a sick or injured animal, or who knows of animals without adequate food, water, or shelter, to get help fast by reporting it! All reports are kept confidential.”
LaValley said they help “primarily cats and dogs and a variety of pocket pets, which include birds, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, but typically they don’t handle reptiles.” And TAHS doesn’t euthanize animals unless “they have viciously attacked or if an animal is too ill or injured to be saved,” she said.
TAHS offers discounts for the over-55 group for adopting animals. And as a nonprofit, the group welcomes monetary donations.
Housed within barking distance from Airport Highway and Byrne Rd is Toledo’s oldest no-kill shelter, The Toledo Animal Shelter, which caters only to dogs and cats. According to its website, the shelter was “born as the result of a caring well-known civic leader, Mrs. Ben Johnson” and became incorporated in 1927.
“We take in owner surrenders; we are not allowed to take in strays,” said the shelter’s executive director, Helen Bensch. All strays are referred to the Lucas County Dog Warden’s office. Bensch said the reasoning behind not taking in strays is “so that a person who lost their pet has one location to go to look for their lost pet.”
When a cat or dog is surrendered to The Toledo Animal Shelter, Bensch said “we ask for a $40 donation or whatever amount, if any, they can afford to donate.” Sadly, many people who surrender their animals do so because of financial reasons. In lieu of monetary donations people have volunteered at the shelter or donated supplies.
In some cases, the shelter will pair an older animal with an over-55 person, send the animal home on a trial basis to make sure they are a match, and if it works out, the fee is waived.
Help for wildlife
A unique nonprofit, Nature’s Nursery Rehabilitation Education Conservation (NN), focuses on helping wildlife, providing “medical care to injured orphaned or ailing wild animals, and conduct conservation educational outreach programs.
Facts about animal cruelty
1. April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.
2. The worst thing you can do if you witness or suspect animal cruelty or neglect is nothing. 3. The top three types of animal abuse are neglect/ abandonment, shooting and hoarding.