On a recent dreary Thursday, half a dozen staff members set out on foot to search for a dog that was hastily tied to a pole in our driveway, abandoned before the first staff members arrived at 7am. In the pouring rain, they spot the terrified dog and methodically move closer. Carefully, they communicate with one another on walkies to make sure she doesn’t run. After thirty minutes, drenched and cold, the team successfully secures the dog and brings her to safety.
Meanwhile, inside the shelter our adoption team is sending five dogs to their new homes with adopters. Volunteers are socializing cats, walking dogs, and doing laundry. A foster parent is bringing in a litter of foster kittens for vaccine boosters. Kennels are being cleaned and re-cleaned. The Veterinary Resource Center team is seeing a sick pet whose devoted owners have very limited funds to provide care. An injured stray cat is being brought in, curled up in a laundry basket, and is rushed to the medical department for immediate attention. It’s a typical day at the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area.
We are not only a group of people that work under the same roof, but we are also a team. It has been heartbreaking to read and hear people disparage and threaten our organization to which we are so devoted. We admit we can’t achieve our mission alone. We work with animal rescue organizations, foster families, volunteers, and other community partners and members of the public so that together we can help as many animals as possible in our community. And so, the worst part is seeing people try to turn others against our organization because in the end, it hurts the animals the most.
We acknowledge there is always room to grow and improve. Every day, we are looking at ways to grow – some ideas are big, and some are small. A few recent improvements that we are particularly proud of include:
-We opened the Veterinary Resource Center (VRC) in 2019, providing affordable and accessible veterinary care to those who cannot afford veterinary care at a privately owned veterinary hospital. Since opening its door, the VRC has seen over 11,800 pets.
-902 animals have been placed in foster homes in the past three years.
-Our behavior team created the “decompression room” for dogs in December 2022. The room includes a sofa, soft music, essential oils and is a place for dogs to relax with a staff or volunteer outside of their kennel.
We are proud of the work we do here. There will be heartbreaking days. But we come in every day, knowing we are making a positive difference.
For those that support us, thank you. No matter what, we will be here.