Love them enough to help them

Precious & Max

I understand the feeling behind the words “I can’t volunteer at the animal shelter because I’d want to take all the animals home with me.”  I get it. I’d like nothing more than to live on a huge piece of property with my husband and our kids, opening our home to every animal in need of rescue.

Every week when, as a Euclid Pet Pals volunteer, I leave the Euclid Animal Shelter at the end of my shift, there is at least one animal, usually a dog, who stays in my heart and mind. The white puppy who, because he was deaf, slept unaware of the anxious barking which surrounded him. The gray terrier mix (“Precious”), new to motherhood, left behind as her puppies were adopted. The black and white cat (“Nefertiti”) who spends all her days in a cage because the huge number of cat and kitten roommates overwhelms her.  The rabbit, guinea pig, mouse, rat, turtle… all waiting for homes.

So what’s a soft-hearted animal lover to do?

Volunteer. Spend a few hours giving of yourself to the animals who claim your heart. Accept that although you may not be able to bring them into your home, you can still offer them your loving care. Make their beds clean and comfortable. Wash their food dishes. Launder their blankets. Give them clean water to drink. Pet them, hold them, talk to them, and love them.

Will all of the animals at the shelter find a home? No. Are they nonetheless deserving of an animal lover's care? Yes.

To all the animal lovers whose reason for not volunteering at an animal shelter is the desire to rescue all the animals: I implore you to meet them in their time of greatest need. Be selfless enough to care for them even though it saddens you to leave them behind. You will have made a difference in their lives and you will have deepened your own love, generosity, compassion, and strength.

To learn about becoming a Euclid Pet Pals volunteer , visit or stop by the Euclid Animal Shelter (25100 Lakeland Blvd.) Volunteers are needed even when the shelter is closed. The shelter is open to the public 12-4 Tuesday-Saturday, with evening hours 6-8 on Thursdays.


Karin Ostroske

Born, raised, married, and raising my children in Euclid, I'm looking for the best in Euclid because no place and every place are perfect. I'm committed to making eye contact and saying 'hi' to people who cross my path.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 4:12 PM, 10.05.2012