Hamden Library Podcast

Community Animal Shelters & Rescues

August 03, 2022 Episode 11
Hamden Library Podcast
Community Animal Shelters & Rescues
Show Notes Transcript

It’s August, which means we are officially in the dog days of summer.  So we decided to talk to some local shelters and rescues about what they do, how people can help out (through donations, volunteering, fostering and adopting an animal) and what it’s been like for them over the past couple of years dealing with the COVID pandemic.

We spoke with three organizations: Where the Love Is Animal Rescue, located right here in Hamden; The Animal Haven no-kill shelter in North Haven; and JP Farm Animal Sanctuary, which specializes in taking in cattle, pigs and other farm animals.

In addition, BeCAUSE4PAWS is the shelter that Alyssa speaks so glowingly about in our host segment. They are located in New Milford.

Please enjoy this episode and excuse the occasional animal noises in the background!

Michael Pierry  0:07  
Hello and welcome to another episode of The Hamden Library Podcast. I'm your host, Michael Pierry. And with me as ever is my co host and partner in crime, Alyssa Bussard.

Alyssa Bussard  0:18  

Michael Pierry  0:20  
It's August, meaning we are officially in the dog days of summer, which got us thinking about pets and animal welfare in general. Many of us on staff and in the community are animal lovers. So we decided to talk to some local shelters and rescues about what they do, how people can help out and what it's been like for them over the past couple of years dealing with the COVID pandemic. We spoke with three organizations in the Hamden area: Where The Love Is Animal Rescue located right here in Hamden, the Animal Haven shelter in North Haven, and JP Farm Animal Sanctuary, which specializes in taking in cattle, pigs and other farm animals. Before we get into those interviews, though, Alyssa, you actually have some experience in volunteering for animal shelters. Would you mind sharing a bit about that? 

Alyssa Bussard  1:13  
No, of course not. I love sharing about my volunteer experience. And also, anything that has to do with animals is fun to talk about for me. So I actually volunteered for a while at Meriden Humane Society. I grew up in Meriden and had gone there to volunteer a few times, you know, when I was in high school, kind of like, gotta get those hours in. But then a few years ago, I volunteered there for a while. And I had a great experience. My biggest problem, of course, being that I always want to bring home every single cat ever. The Humane Society is - they have dogs and cats. But what's very interesting about the one in Meriden is that they keep their dogs a little - in a separate, I don't know, area of the building. So they have like their own room and they have big space, they have the yard to go in and everything and they have special handlers for the dogs. It's no surprise really, that a lot of dogs that are surrendered are often you know, bigger dogs, pitbulls, dogs like that. Not that that's always what the case is, but often, it's dogs that tend to be viewed as I think more - a little bit more aggressive breeds. So they have special handlers who can work with these dogs, and, you know, take care of them and exercise them. And, you know, some people are dog lovers, some people are cat lovers, some people are all-animal lovers, but it's really nice to see that they have those experts that work with them. And, you know, they train them as they can, and it's - it's great. So then the rest of the building is all dedicated to the cat space. And it's great. They have different rooms there where they have like some cats, you know, that are happy to be with other cats. And they have some where they kind of want to be in their own little space. And, you know, they have like a quarantine room and everything that they should do, they have like a vet on site and everything. And when I volunteered there, I would go on the weekends and clean, because as you can imagine, cats, especially a lot of cats at once, make a lot of mess. So what you would do, you know a couple times a day is you go in there and you scoop - actually not even scoop, you completely clean the litters out. And - because think, you know, I have three cats at home, and we have two litter boxes, and we scoop them multiple times a day. So you know, you get rid of all the litter and sweep the floors, mop the floors, you know, sanitize all of that to keep it safe and healthy for the cats and the volunteers and, you know, feed them and play with them. And of course, my favorite room was the one where - with the grumpy cats, because of course it is. All those cats that don't want to be around any people, I would just go in there sometimes and sit and there is some downtime, you know, to socialize, because a big thing with the cats is that they want them to be able to be socialized to be with people and to love people so that if -you know, they would get adopted then. So it's a good thing to do. So I would go in there. And honestly, I think I was going through grad school for part of it. And I would go in and just read a lot of my books I had to read for school out loud to the cats.

And it was fun, because you know, I would just kind of focus on that and you know how it is sometimes with cats, it's like don't look directly at them, you know? So I would read and all of a sudden I would kind of peer up and I would have just cats like, you know, casually sitting by me like they don't want to be near me but, you know, don't pay attention to them and they'll just maybe sit by you. It's kind of, like, whatever, they don't care. And then of course you have a lot of, you know, older cats that get surrendered. And that would always make me sad because I just want to take every single one home. I'm for sure one of those. I always talk about wanting to foster and my partner's like no, because he knows I wouldn't be able to foster and then give them up. I don't know if that's true. I think I would be happy to give them to a loving family but I can see why it would be hard to do. We did have a couple of foster moms bring their kittens in a couple times, because they want them to get socialized as well. And they would need a vet checkup or whatever. And that was the best part of the day being able to hold the little tiny babies. So yeah, so I always had a great time. 

And you know, what's actually good about these shelters that a lot of people don't think about is that they need volunteers in the office too. So if you don't want to be around the animals for any reason, say that you just - some people don't like animals, that's fine. But you still want to give. And you know, you want to give time. You can go and they have the storage rooms that you could help organize, or you can work at the front office, and you can do all of the meeting and greeting of people who want to adopt and you know, the first greet of the people who come in before they meet with the people who are, you know, paid and experts to kind of vet them. So it's a really nice experience to be able to volunteer at these shelters. Really, if you have any sort of skill and desire to do any volunteer work at all, you could find something to do at these shelters. So I would definitely recommend giving time. I stopped doing it, obviously, because of the pandemic. And I haven't been back yet. I hope to go back soon, but I actually don't know. They just reopened up their volunteer spots. So I am going to be looking into that again soon.

Michael Pierry  6:26  
That's great. Um, and I know you have babies of your own. Three of them now, right? 

Alyssa Bussard  6:33  
Yeah. So I have an older cat, Celia, she's 13. I just want to say this is literally my favorite topic to talk about. So like, let me try to not talk for an hour about my cats. So excuse me before I get long-winded here. So I have Celia. She's 13. She is the love of my life. I love her more than I love my fiance. He knows that, so I don't have to say don't tell him. But um, so she and her sister Cordelia, who died a year ago. I rescued them, actually. I was in Pennsylvania and I found them. My dad is a mechanic and he has like a junkyard. So in one of the cars in the back in their junkyard, that's where I found -

Michael Pierry  7:15  
Oh, so they were junkyard cats.

Alyssa Bussard  7:17  
I just heard a little, I was actually -

Michael Pierry  7:18  
Like Heathcliff. 

Alyssa Bussard  7:19  
Yeah! So I was going to say goodbye to my dad. We were coming back to Connecticut and I heard *imitates meow sounds*. And I was like, what is that? And I opened up the car door and they were these little babies. They were only six weeks old. Their mom had, we assume, been killed. It's like in Pennsylvania, you know, a lot of hills. Not a lot of stuff going on up there except for animals. So anyway, we rescued them. But um, so that was fun. But after we lost Cordelia last year, I just - I was devastated. And I was having a hard time. But I happened upon this picture of this Calico that looked just like Cordelia on a random Facebook ad or whatever. And it was this place in New Milford called BeCAUSE 4 PAWS, so you know, play on words there. And they were having like literally this event where they had like a kitten adoption event, which I know saying this people are probably like, "Well, yeah," but to me, I was like, whoa, there's a whole event I can go to where I can meet kittens?

So that was awesome. So what we did was, we drove up there. Now, before we went - I've always wanted a black cat, it's just something I've always wanted. So before we went - we went in there and the first cat we saw was this black cat, and she was just, "Meow, meow, meow, meow meow." And I was like, Okay, I love her right. And then I was like, no, no, I cannot get the first cat that I want. I can't - or that I see, rather. I cannot do this. Yeah, so what we did was, she actually ended up climbing all over my fiance and ended up like biting his ear or scratching his ear or something. And it was like, you know, love at first blood draw there. But what - 

Michael Pierry  8:59  
Love at first bite? 

Alyssa Bussard  9:00  
Yeah. But we were like, no, put her back. We can't do this. So I never thought I wanted anything but a black cat. All of a sudden I look over and I see this little gray kitten sitting in this playpen by herself. And I was like, I don't know, I don't know what it was. I was drawn across the room. I walked over to her. I picked her up. This is a true story. And for those of you that know me can probably picture me doing this, but I pick her up. And I'm holding her and I'm looking at her like, oh, like all of a sudden, like my heart just opened. And this lady comes over. And she's like, "Oh my God, she's so beautiful!" And she goes to pet her. And without thinking, I like, turn my body from her, look at my fiance and I was like, go put down the deposit. Go put down the deposit on the cat so we can bring her home.

And I'm so embarrassed, like I feel so bad now thinking of it, but I just knew this cat was mine. And it was just oh my god. So we ended up finding this other tortie that we loved as well, and the company, this nonprofit, you know, BeCAUSE 4 PAWS, they were so wonderful working with us. The kittens weren't at weight yet. So we had to wait. And actually they have this rule, where if you are adopting a cat - I mean, I assume or a dog. But if you're adopting an animal from them, you have to bring the whole family. So you can't just come and then say, I'm bringing home a cat randomly, you know, if you have children. 

Michael Pierry  10:17  
Yeah, yeah. 

Alyssa Bussard  10:19  
I think it's wonderful. 

Michael Pierry  10:20  
I've heard of similar things. 

Alyssa Bussard  10:22  
So it was quite a drive. But we were going to come back and we were going to look again at this grey cat and then this tortie. And they called us and they said, "Hey, so we actually had the two kittens meet. They weren't from the same litter. We had the two kittens meet and Francesca was the tortie. And Bisque was the grey cat. She's like, listen, the tortie's just not liking the grey cat Bisque. She's a little bit aggressive. Bisque is really scared of her. They just, they're just not getting along. Like we think this tortire needs to be in a in a house without other cats. So because we had Celia at home, I was like, listen, I need to not do this. And these people were gonna get their money, like no matter what. They 100% could have been like, "here you go, bye!" And they were like, "listen, we can't give you these cats." Like it was - you can have one or you know and it was a - I loved that, because it was like such a special thing that I thought they were so careful with it. 

Michael Pierry  11:17  

Alyssa Bussard  11:17  
So what we ended up doing is saying, "Hey, do you have that black cat that we saw when we first walked in there?" And they did. And it turns out that we ended up bringing home that first black cat that we saw, and we named them. Selene is my gray one after the goddess of the moon. And Nyx is my black cat. And you know, she loves my fiancee, she is so attached to him. And I always said I always wanted a black cat. And now I say that someday maybe I'll get one because she is so attached to him. And she has her  dad's cat for sure. But I can't say enough about this. You know, BeCAUSE 4 PAWS, they were such a great experience. The adoption event was very like safe, secure. They were just very careful about who they were meeting, who was handling the cats. You know, they vetted everybody, they had us come with the whole family to meet them. That wasn't even the 100% go ahead. They really wanted background, they called references, which I assume this is like the norm. I know that they do this in Meriden as well. But you know, cats are just so - they need to be adopted, people could easily just hand them over. So I really loved that they did that. And they're always - they have a Facebook alumni group you can go on and you know, you write about your cats, and you write like formally known as their former name. And Selene's foster mom reached out to me recently and told me some things about her when she was just a baby before I got her and it's just, it's just been a really special experience. So I just obviously, I'm a big fan of adopting. But this place is in New Milford and I always, you know, try to raise money for them for my birthday and everything. I just, I can't say enough about them. So if you're looking to adopt, for sure, look into BeCAUSE 4 PAWS, or the Humane Society in Meriden and - or really any of these adoption places where they obviously care and love what they're doing. So that's always important. So I'm going to stop now because I literally could keep going on and on. 

Michael Pierry  10:23  
Yeah, and we'll we'll hear some more from some of the local shelters coming up. But I could share briefly my adoption story. My - I have a 17 year old calico. And she is an only child, as they often end up being. I got her when she was about one and a half. And this was when I was living in New York City. So we got her at a place called Bide-a-Wee, which was right was on the East Side of Manhattan, right near the - I guess the East River and we were looking at my girlfriend and I at the time and was my first cat my roommate who I lived with before had a cat and so I started almost like kind of want a cat now and kind of into this. And so we went into and she'd never had any pets before or anything I don't think and I saw there's this one cat we saw we looked at as a black cat and was really nice and sweet and friendly. 

And then there was this kind of standoffish mean-looking tiger cat. And, I was like, "Hmm, I could go for the nice, easy to take care of, easy to get along with black cat. But this - I don't know, this calico speaks to me somehow. And, and her name was Caritas, which I thought was a really interesting name. It was like a Latin name for charity. And we brought her home and she has been with me ever since. And yeah, it's been - the rest is history. 

Alyssa Bussard  15:07  
It's been a journey and you know you say she's this grumpy little tiger, right? And I know she can be, don't get me wrong. I was there the other day trying to clean up the floor in front of her cuz she was drooling all over the place and she she was like no, no and she started swatting at me trying to be like, "Excuse me, Auntie. Get away from me." But she loves you beyond like anything like she loves her dad so much. And she's just such a good girl. So 17 years. 

Michael Pierry  15:34  
17 years. 

Alyssa Bussard  15:34  

Michael Pierry  15:35  
Still going. 

Alyssa Bussard  15:36  

Michael Pierry  15:37  
All right. Well, I think that was a good segment, talking about our our pet pals, our feline friends. So now it's time for Mike Wheatley's film recommendations!

Mike Wheatley  15:53  
I have gone to the dogs this month. And I'd like you to join me. It seems that what I originally intended as very simple turned out to be more complicated. I thought that I would just talk for a couple of minutes about the dog days of August and recommend a few outstanding dog movies. It looks like the dog days of August are not really about dogs at all, but about Sirius, the Dog Star in the constellation Canis Major, which, in the northern hemisphere, rises on the horizon this time of year. Ancient cultures equated Sirius with weather, and it predicted the hottest time of the season. Dog movies have been with us since the earliest silent films. I recently watched an adorable Charlie Chaplin 40 minute 1918 film called "A Dog's Life" in which the Little Tramp befriends a small white dog, who brings him a wallet filled with money the two top thieves have buried. Of course, the thieves find out who has the wallet, and chaos ensues. The Tramp, his dog, and a newly found singer girlfriend champion in the end. And the final scene is a very funny Chaplain as a farmer planting crops. I had never seen this particular Chaplin film before and loved it.

You may have heard of Rin Tin Tin. He was actually a real dog. Rin Tin Tin lived September 1918 until August 10, 1932. A male German Shepherd born in Flirey, France, he became a motion picture international star. He was rescued from a World War I battlefield by an American soldier Lee Duncan, who nicknamed him Rente. What you might not know is that the immense profitability of Rin Tin Tin films contributed to the success of Warner Brothers Studios, and helped advance the career of Darryl F. Zanuck, from screenwriter to producer and studio executive. There ended up over 25 Rin Tin Tin films, a radio series and in the 1950s "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin" was one of TV's highest rated programs.

But Rin Tin Tin wasn't the only TV canine phenomenon that started in the 50s. In 1954, "Lassie" debuted and didn't go off the air until 1973. "Lassie" was originally created by Eric Knight, and a novel called "Lassie Come Home," published in 1940, and made into a film three years later. Unfortunately, Knight was killed in the Second World War, and he never got to see the success of the film starring Roddy McDowell as a young Yorkshire lad, and Elizabeth Taylor, fresh from her "National Velvet" success. It also featured the great Edmund Gwynn better known as Kris Kringle, in "Miracle on 42nd Street," and a cast that includes Elsa Lanchester, and Nigel Bruce, who also played Watson, opposite Basil Rathbone. There were five more Lassie films in the 40s and numerous others, but I encourage you to watch the first. The story is simple, and has been repeated many times since. A dog, or dogs in the case of "Incredible Journey" or its excellent remake "Homeward Bound" with the voices of Michael J. Fox, Sally Field and Don Ameche end up far from their loving owners and struggle to find their way home. I imagine that this film had a particular hold on audiences whose loved ones were away at war.

According to IMDb Internet Movie Database, pow, a male Rough Collie, was born on June 8 1940, and North Hollywood, California, USA. He is best known and remembered for "Lassie Come Home" (1943), "Courage of Lassie" (1946) and "The Painted Hills" (1951). Though he was a male, he received notoriety for playing the famous character Lassie. He was retired from acting in 1954 and died in 1958. His life and memories of him live on in his movies and TV appearances. 

So onto the complications about dog movies. In preparations for this month, I discovered an amazing number of movies with dogs as the leading or at least co-stars that I have never seen or have seen decades ago. They range from animated Disney classics like "Lady And The Tramp" and "101 Dalmatians" to 1989's "Turner and Hooch" with Tom Hanks. So I started asking friends and family about their favorite dog film, and surprisingly, half responded, "I don't like dog movies." When pressed about why, many responded, "the dog always dies," which led me immediately to one of my first traumatic film events. The 1957 Disney film "Old Yeller." I was 10 years old and remember how upset I was at the ending of that film. I'll spare you the details. But needless to say, Old Yeller doesn't make it to the end. I was amazed at how positive the personal reviews of the film but I have to admit that it's a powerful early 1950s Disney feature. The father is played by Tess Parker, who went on to play Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. And yes, I had a coonskin hat when I was a kid. I realize that parents today have to be careful when revisiting our favorite childhood memories and movies with our kids. I do recommend watching the shows with them to assist with those generational hurdles.

Finally, I would also recommend the 2005 British remake of "Lasse Come Home" called just "Lassie," and directed by Charles Sturridge. It stars Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones, and the great classic actor Peter O'Toole, among others. Besides its excellent production values and faithful book adaptation, the DVD has great special features, including one from Animal Planet, about the humane treatment of all the animals on the set.

Ariana Davis  23:13  
I have the privilege of interviewing Miss Shannon and Miss Caitlin Duffy, vice presidents and longtime volunteers of Where the Love Is, a nonprofit animal organization based in Hamden, Connecticut. Thank you so much, ladies, for joining me this morning.

Shannon Duffy  23:29  
Thank you so much for inviting us. We appreciate it. 

Caitlin Duffy  23:32  
Thank you. 

Ariana Davis  23:33  
So my first question for you is, if you can please share with our audience for those who may not be familiar, more information about Where the Love Is, as well as its mission? 

Shannon Duffy  23:44  
Sure, sure. So Where the Love Is was founded back in 2013. It's a nonprofit organization. And we're located right in Hamden. We do have a physical location where we keep some of our dogs. And then we also have what we call foster homes. So these are homes throughout the state, where the families have decided to graciously accept in some of the dogs that we've rescued, and take care of them while we wait for their forever homes. So eventually, these families will set them up for great success, and then provide their new owners with the dog. And so it's a great way to free up space because our space at the physical location is quite limited. And that definitely lends itself to our mission. we're ultimately trying to prevent abuse and cruelty to animals. And the way we do that is by promoting the adoption of animals. Those are animals that are either from out of state. We do a lot of adoptions from Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, or more local surrenders from families who are in the area, but can no longer care for the animals that they have. It's important to us that the animals in our care, we give medical attention, we spay and neuter them and microchip them, get them all ready to go, before we adopt them out. 

Ariana Davis  25:22  
Oh, thank you for sharing that information and giving us those details about all the work that you do within your organization and taking in animals as well as preparing them, giving them temporary homes, and as well as preparing them for their future forever homes.

My next question is, how did the pandemic affect your ability to care for and provide services to the animals in your shelter and within the local community? 

Caitlin Duffy  25:55  
So that's a great question. In the initial stages of COVID, we did have to put a hold on our fostering programs, because we obviously wanted to limit contact between our volunteers and our fosters. So that limited our space at the physical location, the physical rescue, quite significantly, because we could no longer get dogs out into foster homes. You know, we also saw that some of our potential adopters were more hesitant to come to the rescue and meet dogs, you know, it was an issue of safety, or also much more nervous about going to a foster home, for instance, to meet one of our foster dogs. 

And most importantly, we had to cancel all of our events. So we will do events at local, you know, dog supply stores. We'll do them at local fairs or farm markets. And it's a great way to advertise our dogs, and to get people to interact with them. It's also a great way for our dogs to get socialized around a lot of people in noisy situations. So our visibility for our adoptable dogs was definitely impacted. And also, especially in the beginning stages of COVID, the transportation of our animals was definitely affected. So as we were saying previously, a large number of our animals come from down south, and they're rescued down there by partners that we have, individual and independent rescuers. And then they're transported up to Connecticut. Obviously, as you can imagine, there's a lot of interstate travel there. And so there was a lot of concern, some limitations occurring with that, especially at first with the, you know, kind of COVID outbreak and everybody learning how to restructure their lives. 

Shannon Duffy  28:00  
And I would say, too, we're talking a lot about animals coming in from out of state. And I think a question that a lot of people have is, if we have animals in state that need help, why are we providing animals out of state with help? And I think it's important to keep in mind that we are doing both. We certainly have local surrenders, families that are taking care of animals that for one reason or another no longer can do that. And we certainly, when we can, we take those animals in and get them out to adoptable families. Another reason why we do a lot of adopting from the south, we said Texas and Georgia, is because they need an immense amount of help down there. Their spay neuter policies are not nearly as strict as they are up here. And so they have - they're overrun with animals that are either in the shelter or that are homeless roaming around the streets. And it's something that they can't handle themselves. There's just too many. So, you know, in order to save these animals, prevent them from going to high kill shelters, we end up pulling them and bringing them up here. So that's just a question I think a lot of people have when they hear that we're, we're pulling from out of state. 

Caitlin Duffy  29:23  
You know, I would say that, in regards to COVID, as COVID progressed, we certainly did have more people who were willing to foster or adopt animals once we got to, you know, the safe place where everyone kind of knew what was expected and how to stay safe. Because if people stayed home at work or stayed home from school, they were much more willing to take on an animal, have a companion, and that was extremely helpful to us. And it really helped a lot with socializing our animals. And that was great. You know, we definitely found that because of this huge, you know, shift to working at home or working from home. People were also available to adopt and they had the time and the consistency available to train dogs once they adopted them. So it definitely, in some ways helped. We still definitely see the effects of COVID today, mostly on the veterinarian side. So as we said, we do vet all of our animals. That includes spaying and neutering microchipping, you know, vaccines, and also providing - some of our dogs need some really serious heartworm treatment or treatment for long term illnesses. With COVID, the vets got really backed up. And therefore, as a result, we were very, very limited regarding getting vetappointments. So even today, it is a struggle for us to obtain these appointments in a timely fashion.

Ariana Davis  30:57  
Thank you so much for sharing how the past two years during this COVID pandemic have affected you as well as current needs. I know we'll get into that later in our interview, since our listeners may be likely and willing and ready to help you with the needs of your organization. My third question is concerning the latest news. Officials in Hamden and New Haven are exploring the possibility of a regional animal shelter that would be shared between the two municipalities. So if this project moves forward, what would the impact be? Or what benefits will it have for where the love is? 

Shannon Duffy  31:45  
So I think the first benefit it would have, first and foremost, would certainly be that animals would be getting more help. I think that if we are able to put into place any sort of further animal sheltering program, more animals could be saved, more animals would have the potential of being saved. And I think it would also help connect more of the community to these animals.

And, you know, as always, with animal rescuing, there's a lot of working together. So with something like this, you know, and the potential between the relationship between Hamden and New Haven, we would definitely, hopefully have increased resources and collaboration for all of us. So it would be great to be able to support this potential animal shelter with some of our ideas, or for them to, you know, share some of their ideas, what has worked, what hasn't worked. So that the setup of the overall shelter system, whether it's a rescue, or a municipal shelter, could benefit the most from that. It's also really helpful when there are rescues in the area, and or shelters in the area, because we get in a lot of animals. However, they're not the perfect fit for every family. So we may have a family that comes to us that's looking for a very specific type of dog, for instance, they have to be kid friendly, they need to be a certain size, you know, hypoallergenic, and at that particular time, we may not be able to offer that sort of animal. So it would be great to instead of telling the family, we will reach out to you if and when we get that animal. If we can say, hey, we know that there's another shelter, we would definitely refer you to them. Because right now they have this animal maybe that you know, that animal could fit your needs. I think ultimately, the more people working together, the more animals we can help and say even and that's the goal of you know, everyone involved in rescue. So we would certainly encourage that.

Ariana Davis  34:03  
Wonderful, wonderful. My next question is, how is where the love is funded? And what can individuals within our local community do to continue to support your mission? 

Shannon Duffy  34:17  
So our organization is completely funded by donations. We get donations from all different age groups, all different organization types, individuals, a lot of times very, very creative individuals as well. So we get funding, let's say for instance, young kids, and they decide to sell their artwork for money and they provide us with that money or schools and the schools will set up food drives or toy drives. And any sort of supplies that they get, they will drop off to the rescue. We have Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops that will donate their time they come to the rescue. They upkeep the grounds. They make beautiful gardens, so that when we have these approved adopters come to the rescue, they can be in a very welcoming, beautiful environment. We also have, you know, just adopters who have taken some of our animals, who come back over and over again: "What supplies can we give you? Or what money can we provide you with?" You know, obviously, the volunteers that are donating their time, that's priceless. And we always need volunteers, we rely upon them immensely. At the same time, our veterinary needs are extremely high and extremely important as well. I think that what's important to recognize - so for our organization, average per animal that we have to spend, would be anywhere from $600 to $1,500. And that would be per month. That's not including any operating costs at all. So electricity, food, air conditioning, fencing, all of that is not even included in our costs. So our costs come from, first, transportation of the animals. And then mainly, like we said, from vetting. So vetting is really expensive, particularly when we have animals with some really serious illnesses. When animals come up with heartworm disease, they need to go through three sets of injections, and three months of medication. And that is extremely, extremely costly. So, you know, over time, that certainly adds up, and even within a single month, that can really, really put a damper on our finances that we have available. And we are a nonprofit, so obviously, we're not looking to make money. And we do have adoption fees. But those fees again, they're not for us to make money, you know, as a profit, like a company would. They're for us simply to be able to sustain our organization, be able to provide the best with the costs in order for them to provide us with the services that they do provide us with. So, you know, again, it's completely, completely funded through donations. And we are super, super grateful and thankful for any and every type of donation that can be given.

Ariana Davis  37:45  
Thank you for elaborating on that and helping our listeners to see those costs and how much it really takes to to provide a shelter for these animals. And whether or not people are in a financial situation that they can donate in that way, or like you said, to do something creative, or if they have the time to be able to volunteer, and to be able to do such supportive work, and taking care of animals and supporting your mission. 

Shannon Duffy  38:25  
And on that note, too, you know, I'd like to say that we certainly can always use volunteers. You know, we have a main group of volunteers. We call them caretakers, and they are people who go in in the morning before work, or midday in the afternoon, or in the evening after work. And they really do the hands-on caretaking of letting the animals out, feeding them cleaning their kennels. So it's some pretty down and dirty work but it's certainly, certainly you know, worth it to see the animals get some fresh air, spend time with them and get to know them a little bit too. And if that's something that you can't commit to, or you'd rather do a different route, like we said we do take donations. Any sort of financial donations can be made through our website. We do use Venmo: @wheretheloveis. We do use PayPal, and again visiting our website which is wheretheloveis.org You can click to be able to provide a monetary donation through there as well. We also have associations with Amazon Smile. You can pick our organization with Chewy as well. And also just on Facebook, you know, become a Facebook follower. Spread the news when we have certain needs. We'll post them on our Facebook page or when we have a specific animal that we're really trying to showcase, please share with friends and family so we can get the word out there. We are also very grateful for any supplies if people can donate paper towels or gloves or towels. Again, on our website, there's a list and there's an address where you can drop off different supplies as well. Of course, if you know you're open to taking in an animal, we would definitely recommend that you put in an application on our website, or if you're available for fostering, which can be a great opportunity for someone to take in an animal temporarily. And, you know, help them as they move along in their journey. And then, you know, give them to a family that will provide them with their forever home. And that application is also on our website. We do look for families and individuals, all different types, sizes, especially families that don't currently have animals, or young kids. Those are definitely families that we find the most need for. And that's really what we're currently looking for. Any sort of family that doesn't have dogs or cats currently that doesn't have young kids, just to meet the needs of the current dogs that we have. And certainly as - whether it be an animal lover with an animal or an animal lover that might potentially adopt an animal, one way to help our rescue and all rescues is just to take proper care of your own animals. Spaying and neutering is very, very important so we can get the population of animals under control. Microchipping your animals, really important, so that if, for instance, your dog were to run away because of fireworks, anyone who finds that dog would be able to easily identify the owner, and get your dog back to you. And, you know, as we tell all of our adopters, it's really important to consider the commitment that you will need to put in when and if you decide to adopt a dog. There's a lot of, yes, financial commitment. There's also a lot of time commitment. These animals need to be trained, they need to be socialized, and many of them have not necessarily lived in home environments for a long time. So we need people who are going to be very, very patient. And obviously, it's an emotional commitment as well, that comes with yes, some trying times, but also some really, really great rewards as well. And I think too, just in general, you know, we always encourage to practice compassion with people as well. We find that if people are compassionate with each other and understanding of each other, they're equally compassionate to animals and, you know, the plight that they face as well.

Ariana Davis  42:54  
Thank you so much, and also for that information for current pet owners, and making sure that they're taking good care of the animals that are their own. And lastly, are there any stories of animals within your care that you would like to share?

Shannon Duffy  43:12  
Yes, so these are definitely the types of stories that keep us going when you know, we're having a rough time with the animals, whether they're sick, or we're in overload. So one was actually a local surrender. Her owner was losing her home, was in a major accident that left her financially strapped and she was going to become homeless, knew it was not a good situation for her dog to be homeless as well. So she reached out to us. Her dog's name was Cassie. She was a pitbull, purebred pitbull. The most adorable, beautiful dog. We met Cassie, decided right away that she was a great fit for our rescue. And you know, her personality was just charming. She was the sweetest, gentlest dog. And we brought her to our vet for a checkup, you know, she was pretty close to being adopted out. And we wanted to do you know, the background checks, make sure everything was okay. And unfortunately, we found that she had a very, very serious heart condition. That heart condition would require a pacemaker. And if it was not put in, she would pass away eventually, or, you know, soon enough, so she stayed with her owner for a short period of time. And we set up the surgery. Like we said before, because of COVID, the appointments were very, very limited. So we did the best we could to get to a specialist and to get her in as soon as possible. We ended up having to go to New Jersey. And during this waiting time, it was certainly very tense. Because it really was a matter of her making it, surviving into - until the day of the surgery. She did start having what the owner believed to be and what did physically look like seizures, which were very concerning. We actually found out that those were a result of her having low oxygen levels. And she wasn't in fact, having seizures, but she was actually passing out, just like a human might pass out. So again, it was very tense. But the surgery was in place. It was, you know, we had somebody who volunteered to transport her to and from New Jersey, which was amazing. Last minute, that individual had a very serious emergency come up. So we scrambled to find another transporter. And again, just like always, the community stepped up. We had an amazing volunteer who took her to her surgery. The surgery went extremely well, she got the pacemaker, and is doing really well, even right after her surgery, we could tell she was back to her exuberant self, very, very happy.

Unknown Speaker  46:17  
Eventually, the individual who agreed to transport her decided that she wanted to foster her as well. And this was great because she needed to be in an environment where there was not as much stress, as obviously, there would be a lot of stress in her home environment, when the owner was facing a lot of these financial and shelter constraints. So we kept up with Cassie, obviously, as we do with all of our animals, especially in foster. We were sent pictures and videos. And we basically watched as the foster fell more and more in love with her. And eventually the foster did adopt her. So she is now part of their family. This foster has become a huge part of our organization, a very, very helpful volunteer. So we do get to see Cassie a lot, which is also super exciting. And most importantly, Cassie is healthy. She'll continue to do really well, the pacemaker will stay charged for years, I believe it's 11 years, so she likely will be good for the rest of her life, and just be able to be a happy, healthy dog. One thing that we have talked about is the importance of community. And obviously, like we said, to have these volunteers to drive Cassie to the vet appointments or to foster her. Obviously, her vet bills were immensely high. Having the community step up and, you know, provide finances for that. But we also as a rescue community want to help the members of our communities. So we did our very best to help out Cassie's family. We did provide supplies, both for the humans and also for Cassie while she was in their care. And so you know, and that's important to us, because every dog comes from somewhere and that family was a huge part of Cassie's life. And so we want to do our best to support both the family and their animal, as everybody including the dog is going through such a rough time. 

Ariana Davis  48:25  
Wow, that is such a heartwarming story to have such a happy ending. And we hope that it continues to be recreated with the animals that are in your care, that they're able to get the the health care that they need the shelter to find fosters, or to be able to be connected with their forever homes. So thank you so much to Miss Shannon and Miss Caitlin for your time, taking the time out of your busy schedules, that you're working full time as well as volunteering. And also we'd like to thank all the volunteers who dedicate their time and resources and energy to be able to help your organization. So thank you for all that you do. We appreciate it very much. 

Shannon Duffy  49:19  
Well, thank you so much. That means a lot and we appreciate you taking the time to shed a light o what people in the community are doing to help out animals; awareness is key. So thank you so much for your time and efforts as well. Yes, thank you.

Ryan Keeler  49:36  
We have with us today, Lynn and Britt from JP Farm Animal Sanctuary. How are you today? 

Lynn  49:43  
We're good. Hi, I'm Lynn. 

Britt  49:44  
Hi, I'm Britt. 

Lynn  49:45  
Thank you for having us. 

Ryan Keeler  49:47  
It's great to have you. We talked about your organization a little bit in regards to compassion fest. So we're happy to have you and we'd like you to maybe talk a little bit about what the Animal Sanctuary is there and what you guys do? 

Lynn  50:03  
Super. Yeah. So basically, we are a rescue for farmed animals. And this is a place that they will come to live out their lives and be safe. A lot of them have medical conditions. We have they have been saved from factory farms from abuse or neglect cases. And we have currently we have cows, Scottish Highland, and we also have dairy, Holstein, and a couple of mixed breeds. We have pigs. And we also have a couple of roosters and a turkey and some chickens. That's right. And a few rescue dogs as well.

Ryan Keeler  50:48  
And people can visit the sanctuary there? 

Lynn  50:53  
So we have visitor days, we call them and it's by appointment only because we're a micro sanctuary, we're very small. My husband and I, we still work full time jobs. So we have Britt here and she is running, running everything, taking care of everybody and keeping 'em happy and healthy.

Britt  51:12  
The three of us do. And we also have a few caregivers and some volunteers. So it's nice. It's a nice community. Nice crew. 

Lynn  51:20  
Yeah, we feel really lucky to have a support that we have.

Michael Pierry  51:24  
Are there any particular stories of animal - you know, rescues or anything that touched you in particular or got you interested in this? 

Lynn  51:36  
So we work with different sanctuaries, and one of them is the Farm Animal Sanctuary out of Watkins Glen, New York. And they have - what is it called Britt? - 

Britt  51:49  
The Animal Adoption Network. So we have rescued - we had two, they were steers, they are steers - two steers that we rescued from - and it was a collaboration. And they have - they were very tiny and small when they came here. They had been very sick. They were very happy and joyful when we met them. But at the time, the Farm Sanctuary did a great job taking care of them. And so now we've got them here, and they are going to live out their lives. And it's amazing to watch them grow and be happy and have the opportunity to have a good life because one of them was from the dairy industry and he would have become veal. And the other one was from a meat industry. And unfortunately, he had sepsis, I believe, is that correct? And then the farm didn't want to spend the money to take care of him. So he probably would have just passed. So it is amazing to just watch these guys grow up. And then also when we first started our rescue, we had Belle, she had a huge gash in her hind. And when we talked to the farmer, he wasn't going to call the vet. So we asked if we could, you know, have a vet come and we would pay for the bill. And she had a baby at that time that she couldn't feed. And so it ended up that we ended up helping the farmer with the vet bills. And then we watch them, you know, get healthy and strong and then they came to live with us. And so some of these things are just so amazing to see their personalities. I think it's just - one of the things that we do is we brush them in the morning and in the evening in their caregiving. And you can see who's ticklish. You can tell who doesn't want to be bothered some days, you know, they have good days, bad days, because a lot of them do have ailments and we have veterinary care. They come out several times a year check on the animals. And so they're on a maintenance program. And like Ali, we have Ali who is 13 years old, she's a Holstein. And she definitely has hip problems and she has a foot problem. And so we're currently trying to figure out what is the best solution for her to have a good healthy life and yeah, because you can imagine with with Ali as Lynn was speaking about, she was from the dairy industry. So she was standing on wet concrete for the majority of her life, had 10 calves taken away from her, you know, probably within hours. And so she has gone through so much suffering, not only in just you know fending for her food fending for her drink, but also, you know, wondering, Where did my babies go? You know what I mean? This is the industry and so the industry is so challenging for all of these animals and, you know, they're just not given any rights or any freedoms or any, you know, natural - just no natural life. They don't have that. They're in service from the day that they're born, especially the dairy industry, which is really hard, hard to imagine their lives. And then at 13, which is a lot older than the normal dairy life of a cow is usually five or six years. So she endured, so you know, twice as much pain and suffering as the other ones had. We were lucky that the manager of that particular dairy wanted her to live out her life. And so along with an advocate, he as well, the two of them decided, you know, let's help her live out her life. And so she found her way here through farm sanctuaries, Farm Animal Adoption network, as Lynn had mentioned earlier.

Lynn  55:47  
Right. And I think it is amazing to see. What I love is when we do have visitor day, we do have some children, and they will come and they'll read the website, they look on Instagram, their parents help them, they talk about it. And sometimes they will tell us the story about our residents that live here. So it is amazing how they get connected. And they understand, you know, and empathize with them. 

Britt  56:13  
Oh, yes. And on empathy, I think what we're trying to do here is inspire compassionate living. In fact, that is our tagline. And so, we want so, so much to take care of the animals right here. We're 51% taking care of the animals here but 49% of our mission is to educate those who don't know, just like we did not know. We did not know what the dairy industry entailed, and all the suffering and - that ensues with that. So we want to encourage people, by showing them these sentient beings, who they are, like Lynn was saying, that they all have personalities. And in fact, one of our stories that we like to retell is that, you know, a couple who came here once, the female was vegan, the male was not, and they had an agreement that they wouldn't, you know, infringe on one another's lifestyles. And so when he came here, you know, no intention to say, oh, become vegan or plant based. But by the nature of him connecting with Ali, the dairy cow that we were just speaking about, he connected so deeply with her that he has not touched meat or dairy since that visit, which was over a year, which was almost a year ago, today. So we like to share that because it's, it's through stories, it's through connection, it's through experience, that we can inspire one another to choose compassionately, and to, you know, start a different path of kindness and, and health, which turns into wealth for the planet for people and for the animals, of course.

Michael Pierry  58:07  
Thank you. 

Ryan Keeler  58:08  
I'm glad you went into that, because I was just going to ask about the plant based component of what you guys are doing there?

Britt  58:16  
Oh, yes, well, we're a plant based facility, we're fully vegan, primarily for the rights of the animals. And that is something that we would like to advocate for. And we ask everyone to, you know, speak with their representatives of their cities, of their states, you know, of the United States, you know, to go as far as we can with signing anything that comes across in the social media, in our emails, through, you know, wonderful organizations such as PETA, what is the - PC? 

Lynn  58:50  
Oh, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, they are really helpful in that advocacy as well, because they have the science, the data behind it, and they are supportive in that. I mean, just it's for people's help, basically as well.

Britt  59:05  
Yeah. So three fold. We can be kind to the animals, and by being kind by not choosing to have them on our plates, we are saving them, then we're also saving our health, because, what is the highest disease is heart disease. And so this is what's killing us by eating flesh -

Lynn  59:28  
Saturated fats, yeah.

Unknown Speaker  59:29  
- of these animals. And then thirdly, you know, the, the planet is being depleted because we are 

Lynn  59:36  
Growing crops, right? 

Britt  59:38  
Growing crops to feed the animals, which in turn, you know, we have so many humans that are starving. So the cycle is kind of, it's kind of strange if we really take a scientific look at it. If we just say to ourselves, let's feed those crops to the humans, which are much more healthy. And then let's, you know, stop the production of the animals or at least slow it down, let's say, to be realistic. Let's slow it down so that we, our children and our children's children can enjoy the breath of air that we are experiencing now. But it's going at such a rate because we're, you know, really ramping up animal agriculture. We need to ramp it down to be able to live on this planet successfully. 

Lynn  1:00:20  
And right, and what people don't realize too, is like, our taxes, so much of our taxes go to animal Big Ag. And it's, they choose not to be transparent. They choose not to take care of their own people. So I definitely think it's something we all need to look at and talk about. 

Michael Pierry  1:00:38  
That's great. That was wonderful. Thank you.

Ryan Keeler  1:00:42  
Excellent. And what kinds of things can people do to support you guys and what you do there? 

Lynn  1:00:50  
Well, definitely having people volunteer, that really helps us out a lot. We also have donations, because we do have a lot of medical issues, and then also for hoof trimming, things maintenance for the animals that we have to keep up. But also if they would just put our name out there, you know, on Instagram, you know, share on Facebook.

Britt  1:01:14  
Follow us on the social media, for sure. But as Lynn was saying, the way that you can donate, you can donate by becoming a Patreon member monthly, or monthly on our website, or through PayPal, or Venmo. And when you come for visitor days, that's on a donation basis, as well. And we also hold raffles here and there and sometimes have fundraiser at restaurants, for instance. So keeping in touch with our social media can really help. And even if you're just send an emoji, that gives us energy to give to the animals. 

Lynn  1:01:48  
Exactly, and support them. 

Ryan Keeler  1:01:51  

Britt  1:01:51  
We ask people to contact us either through social media or through info@jpfarm.org. And Instagram would be instagram.com/jpfarmanimalsanctuary, or on our Facebook, which is facebook.com/jpfarmsanctuary. The best way to reach us is probably by email. You can also reach us on our website at jpfarm.org and sign up for our newsletter.

Ryan Keeler  1:02:26  
Excellent, great information. And we're very happy to have you guys on today to talk about it. Awesome.

Thank you so much. 

Michael Pierry  1:02:35  
Yeah, thanks. 

Lynn  1:02:36  
Okay, thank you.

Ariana Davis  1:02:37  
I have the privilege of interviewing today Miss Michelle DeRosa, who is the Shelter Manager of the Animal Haven located in North Haven. Thank you so much, Michelle, for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to be interviewed today. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:02:55  
Thank you for having me. 

Ariana Davis  1:02:57  
My first question for you is, if you could you please share with our audience more information about the Animal Haven as well as its mission? 

Michelle DeRosa  1:03:06  
Yeah, sure. Um, we've been around since 1948. So we've been around for a while. We established it as a no-kill shelter. So basically, what that means is we do not euthanize animals, you know, for space or room or anything like that. Even if they have issues or you know, biting history, we go above and beyond to figure out what's wrong with them and try to, you know, fix the problem as best as we can. I mean, obviously, unless they're suffering. And then then we will euthanize. Like if we had to euthanize a cat because she had cancer, it was just spreading and she wasn't doing well, in a situation like that, you know, we do the most humane thing, because that's what we do with our own animals. So we basically just treat them like our own animals. We are 501(c)3, so we get no funding from municipal or government sources. And so we basically all work on donations. Donations, donations, donations is how we are able to save the animals that we save. And what we're kind of known for is taking in the crazy cases. Or the cases that you know, need a lot of work for animals that are really in need. And people are extremely generous with our animals because everybody loves animals, or not everybody but lots of people love animals.

Ariana Davis  1:04:33  
Well, we greatly appreciate you taking, in as you brought up, those "crazy cases." Those - even those animals need some love and a good home. So thank you for that. My second question is, how did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your ability to care for and provide services to the animals in your shelter and within the local community?

Michelle DeRosa  1:05:00  
COVID-19 has really messed things up in the animal rescue world. For one, you know, everybody was adopting during COVID. And now that, you know, it's slowing down, and people are going back to their regular activities, they no longer want these animals. So right now, all the rescues and shelters are full. Some can't even provide anymore. Animals are getting left just abandoned on the side of the road in carriers and boxes tied up places - it's really, really bad. And I believe it had to do with COVID-19. We actually didn't adopt out during it, because I was afraid of that. So we didn't do that, which was great because we didn't get our animals back and all that type of stuff. But it affected us with adoptions, of course, but our main priority was to keep everybody here healthy. And you know, to keep the animals fine and safe. And we still were rescuing animals, of course. I mean, I remember going into, we went into a hotel room at the beginning of COVID to rescue a dog, and like masked up and everything. And he was in pretty bad condition. So we still rescued animals.We went to a boarding house at one point. So that didn't stop us. But you know, it did affect adoptions, of course. But I feel as if we did the right thing. Because I was so afraid that people were going to - when things went back to normal, then this would happen.

Ariana Davis  1:06:45  
Thank you so much for elaborating on that and explaining some of the difficulties that that you face, but also some of the precautions that you took to keep the animals as well as the volunteers and your staff safe during the pandemic. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:07:05  
Yes, we didn't have a lot of volunteers. We just had basically our staff. And so it seems to work well -

Ariana Davis  1:07:13  

Michelle DeRosa  1:07:13  
And some volunteers came to walk dogs because it was an outside thing. But as far as that we were just worried. So we knew where our staff was going every day. So that was in the beginning. You know, we were really strict. 

Ariana Davis  1:07:23  
Absolutely, absolutely as time likely went on and there was greater understanding of -

Michelle DeRosa  1:07:30  
Right, of course. Right.

Ariana Davis  1:07:32  
- how the virus was transmitted, to allow for your staff and the animals to be protected. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:07:42  

Ariana Davis  1:07:42  
My third question is, officials in Hamden and New Haven are exploring the possibility of a regional Animal Shelter shared between the two municipalities? Animal Haven takes on a lot of the cases and animals that are situated within Hamden. Would this project have an impact on the services and also the capacity that you currently have at the Animal Haven? 

Michelle DeRosa  1:08:10  
Um, I don't think so. We, you know, I work with Joe in New Haven, and I work with Hamden ACO and I work with North Haven ACO. So basically, if, you know, I have an issue, I call them if they have an issue, they call me. We kind of all work together. Because sometimes, you know, I can't take somebody in or sometimes an animal will be like left here. And they have to go through North Haven ACO, of course, by law and report it sometimes, you know, Joe will be great. I'll say I have this animal is in bad shape. It's from New Haven, someone left it and we'll talk and we'll figure it out. And he'll let it stay here, the animal stay here. And you know, we'll post it and all that stuff, but we work together. So I think it will be I think I feel bad for Hamden because they don't have a shelter. So I think this will be great for Hamden. And I mean, I think that it will be the same that we've always had. 

Ariana Davis  1:09:08  
We appreciate your input on that. My next question is, how is the Animal Haven funded? And I believe you did allude to this as well. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:09:18  

Ariana Davis  1:09:18  
As a nonprofit 

Michelle DeRosa  1:09:20  

Ariana Davis  1:09:20  
What can individuals within our local community do to continue to support your mission? 

Michelle DeRosa  1:09:27  
Um, you know, within Facebook, sometimes in the big cases that we have, I'll post - you know, try not to post all the time, because then it kind of looks, it's just gets repetitive. But, you know, in our big cases where we need the extra money, I'll post it. And you could go through Facebook, we have a website, you could always donate there. And even if we need something like paper towels, cleaning supplies, I always put on Facebook, you know, certain things we need. I have a kitten who was disabled and she needs little diapers. And so I had put it out there and everybody was amazing. They, they sent all these little cute diapers with all these little things on it with ruffles and everything. So it was awesome. Because, you know, that's a lot of money that we save for, like the medical bills, and that's our main and major cost. So the little things like that are even helpful, because then we don't have to get those things. And we can save that more for the animals' medical. Um, and, you know, we always have like, we have raffles all the time. And that's always on Facebook and Instagram. And so, you know, any, any little thing counts, even like $5 here or there, or, you know, if you wanted to sponsor an animal who's been here for a long time, because they probably won't be adopted. Sometimes people do that, or they buy on them their food. Some people were really, really generous like that. 

Ariana Davis  1:10:56  
Wonderful. So if someone wanted to connect to be able to donate to the Animal Haven, what mediums would they be able to use? Perhaps on your - is it social media, not the website directly?

Michelle DeRosa  1:11:08  
Yeah, you could go onto our website, it's www.theanimal havenct.org. You could go on to that you could go on to our Facebook page. Those are the two best ways. Or sometimes people drop off sheets and towels and fuzzy blankets for our animals. And you can always just like leave it outside, we have a donation bin.

Ariana Davis  1:11:38  
Great, great, thank you for explaining that. And hopefully those listening will be able to see within, within their own abilities to be able to either volunteer in person or to be able to give a physical or financial contribution. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:11:58  
Yep. And there's application volunteer applications on our website. If you wanted to volunteer right now, we're pretty set for volunteers. We just basically need people to help clean in the mornings. But that's not the most popular job. So not popular but needed. extremely necessary and extremely necessary. It's not just you can't just come here and pay animals.

Ariana Davis  1:12:24  
Exactly. And we see that the benefit from hard work is is the right, the reward from from that work. So my last question for you is, are there any stories of animals within your care currently that you would like to share? 

Michelle DeRosa  1:12:42  
Oh, wow, we have a ton. Well, right now, I'm bottle feeding two puppies, and my friend took two puppies, because the mom was euthanized because they were getting evicted if they didn't get rid of them. Like apparently I guess that friend couldn't take the mom but took the puppies. And they had to euthanize the mom. So we got four, we tried to get the others but they wouldn't give them to us. And, you know, they're doing so well. They're three and a half weeks now, they're getting chubby, they're starting to eat real food. And they're really cute. And then we have Nyla, who was attacked by a dog, and her leg is pretty much to the bone. So they were going to euthanize her because they couldn't afford to amputate her leg. However, we're changing bandages and doing everything every day so we can try to save her leg and she's walking on it now, which is great. And she might actually be pregnant. We just kind of figured out that and then we have on our Facebook page that one I was talking about, Bebe, she was attacked by a dog before she came to us. So she's paralyzed. So we did everything we had to do. I took her to Tufts in Massachusetts, but unfortunately, there's probably nothing that they can do at this point. But she scoots around, we made her little wheels and she's doing good. She's happy. And she purrs she scoots around my little living room, so.

Ariana Davis  1:14:16  
Well, thank you so much for sharing those stories and the work that you do. I know I can speak for many in the community, how greatly we appreciate all that you, your staff, and the volunteers do to take care of the animals within our local international community. And thank you so much for your time today. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:14:39  
Thank you so much. 

Ariana Davis  1:14:40  
And I hear a little shout out in the back. 

Michelle DeRosa  1:14:42  
That's my - he's at the door, he wants me to bring him in.

Ariana Davis  1:14:48  
Thank you so much for your time, Michelle.

Thank you so much. Have a great day.

Michael Pierry  1:14:54  
Well, that's all the time we have for this episode. If you're interested in donating or volunteering at any of the rescues or shelters mentioned in this episode, please check our show notes on the website. Don't forget to subscribe and rate us on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening and we'll see you again next month.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai