Wednesday, January 2, 2008


If I had my own blog – which may become a reality at some point – it would currently have to be called the “Bleary Eyed” blog. Three puppies to feed every 5 hours have me up round the clock and the broken sleep catches up. But I love what I’m doing and feel fortunate for the opportunity every time one of these vulnerable little creatures is trusted into my hands.

These are of the American Eskimo breed, great companions and dependable watch dogs so I’ve learned. They weighed 9 and 10 ounces when I picked them up from the shelter the day after Christmas. Their mom apparently didn’t want to be a mom and ravaged two of the litter. One other died of hypothermia because of no mother body warmth. Some dogs don’t make good mothers and it’s hard to figure but it happens. Today, a week later, the three survivors weigh almost a pound and seem to be thriving.

I’ve been fostering cats, kittens and now puppies for the
Humane Society of Central Oregon for 3 years. The people I work with and the quality of service are outstanding. The organization works with neighboring organizations sharing much needed space and transport to areas where certain animals are better adopted. Every effort is made to place these abandoned and abused critters. HSCO cares for nearly 5,000 each year. In 2006 we had over 500 in foster homes. The number of fosters will be higher in 2007 and I’ll give a report when I have the numbers. The foster program is well organized and has approximately 70 active caregivers. Fosters are vaccinated dewormed and given support treatment until they are of age or size and are healthy. All shelter animals are spayed or neutered, micro chipped and fosters are guaranteed adoption.

My sensitivity of community effort in caring for unwanted and stray animals has grown immeasurably in the last 3 years. A major concern is hording and abuse. Just yesterday we learned of another
“puppy mill” filled with helpless and abandoned dogs. What this may mean for HSCO is pitching in to assist Redmond, our immediate neighbors, with space and foster care.

I can never say enough about responsible pet ownership, however, I believe our companions are not property, but gifts to us and worthy of every bit of our love, respect, care and security. In my opinion allowing unwanted births is irresponsible. My word for today is, if you have a pet that is not neutered or spayed and you don’t plan to have offspring….get it done. You’ll contribute to saving helpless animals from risk and displacement and me a few hours sleep!

- Connie

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