UPDATE, 22 October 2008

David and Chiva are taking a break from the Tour de Dog but are sure to plan another ride in the near future. A sincere thank you to all of you who helped David and Chiva in countless ways. The Tour de Dog would not be possible without your support. THANK YOU!

View a Photo Documentary of Tour de Dog by Jason Houge

Tour de Dog is past states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Cat's Meow

The latest stop on the Tour de Dog was the Oakville and District Humane Society. Just recently, employees of the Humane Society rescued 52 Bengal cats from horrendous conditions. The plan is to socialize these shy, frightened, and beautiful animals and then hopefully find them good homes. Please get in touch with the Humane Society if you are interested in helping or adopting.

The shelter facility was built in the early 1950's and has not been able to keep pace with the growing number of animals that enter. In fact, employees say they can comfortably house up to 160 cats but currently have nearly 400. Offices, hallways, and any other open spaces are packed and stacked with cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

I asked the shelter Executive Director, Johanne Golder, why she thought the cat numbers were so high, and she told me cats are way to often left unattended outside to produce litter after litter. If your cat is going to be an outside roamer, it should be imperative to have he/she neutered or spayed.

Although she will always do her best to take care of every animal that enters the shelter, Johanne would like to dedicate more energy into educating the public so less pets have to enter the shelter in the first place. Employees are challenged and overwhelmed with caring for so many animals in an outdated facility and thus unable to provide the education programs needed.

The good news is the shelters I visit seem to be full of the most amazing, dedicated and compassionate people. Employees and volunteers do not do these jobs for the money or for the glamor but simply for improving the lives of animals.

One observation is each shelter has its own way of managing. Difficult decisions are inevitable and must be made. If we work hard together to educate anyone and everyone, we can indeed make a difference and decrease the number of tragic decisions that are made.

Thank you to Johanne and the Oakville Humane Society for welcoming the Tour de Dog. Please stay in touch!

Here are a few additional pictures from yesterday's tour:

Johanne's dream is to convert this room into a public classroom. The space is currently used for storage and even houses animals due to such limited space.

Executive Director Johanne Golder uses her office space to house animals.

Many dogs also need to find homes at the Oakville Humane Society shelter.

The pet cemetery outside started in the 1950s and has reached capacity.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

It's great to inspire people, isn't it? Who knew following my passion would lead others to do the same?

Glad we share that like-mindedness.

Best wishes for your journey home. Will be in touch.