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December 9, 2009 > Ohlone Humane Society: In the Spirit of Giving

Ohlone Humane Society: In the Spirit of Giving

By Nancy Lyon

This is time of year when folks are focusing on loved ones and those less fortunate. While it is difficult to ask for help when hard times weigh so heavily on us all, we must ask for greater support from our compassionate community. The bottom line is we need your help to continue assisting the world's less fortunate creatures and their people by supporting our efforts. What exactly does that mean?

OHS's mission is "To inspire respect and compassion for all animals, advocate for their interests and welfare, and instill in our community that all living beings have a right to be treated humanely." While our efforts in 2009 have been very successful and rewarding, it has increasingly proved to be a challenge to gather resources of volunteers and funding.

We have rescued, rehabilitated and successfully re-homed a large number of shelter dogs that had been passed over by others because of correctable health and behavioral problems. So they would not die alone, a number of shelter animals have been hospiced to give them a loving environment at their end of lifetime.

Due to the struggling economy, 2009 has seen an overwhelming outreach from the public for spay/neuter assistance. As of this writing we have helped spay or neuter 600+ companion animals resulting in the prevention of thousands of animals coming into a world already overwhelmed with animals - where good forever homes are very few and suffering is great.

Our wonderful Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) dogs have regularly visited area care facilities and retirement communities bringing joy and healing to residents. They have partnered with the Fremont Library system in the invaluable Reading to Dogs program to help children excel in school. Team leaders have mentored Quest students from local High Schools in the benefits of AAT.

We have worked with the Tri-City and other shelters as liaison to rescues to find a safe harbor for animals of many species - from exotics like iguanas, turtles, reptiles to companion animals and other domestic species. Hundreds of animals that might not otherwise have made it to safety have been successfully re-homed.

We have sponsored 35 Tri-City elementary school classrooms with the nationally acclaimed KIND News program. A fantastic program that fosters compassion for animals, respect for animals, themselves and others, and non-violent resolution to problems and community involvement. OHS volunteers have made classroom presentations concerning companion animals and wildlife

Our Special Veterinary Assistance program has stretched our budget to breaking with people asking for medical and other help for their animals. Rising costs have made vet care equal to that of the human community. We have worked with the area homeless folks and seniors who need help in many ways for their animal companions.

Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has taken in and cared for over 1,000 orphaned and injured wild critters - from endangered species of birds to raccoons, squirrels, fox and baby bobcats. Our senior wildlife volunteers have mentored many Quest and other high school and other level students with their community programs.

We have been active in speaking out politically for the animals. Our Community Relations Director has worked tirelessly for animal welfare and protection legislation on both the state and local level.

Our Pet-Meals-On-Wheels program has delivered food and other animal care supplies to dozens of local residents who need to keep their beloved animal friends but need help to keep them healthy and fed.

Let's not forget the dedicated volunteers who deliver the list of the shelter animals that are stray or available for adoption at Fremont's Tri-Animal Shelter. Weekly, come rain or shine, they deliver the list to 32 locations in the area to help save shelter animals.

OHS is a moderate-sized, volunteer-based nonprofit humane organization that each year strives to meet the needs of the community and its animals and citizens, both local and beyond. The volunteers and Board of Directors receive no payment for their services, only the satisfaction that we have helped.

All said, we face a large and growing task and we need your support, time and donations if we are to continue. Please check the following volunteer opportunities. Your support and participation will greatly help us to meet the challenge.

Where you can help:

* Assist with Pet-Meals-On-Wheels delivery.

* Volunteering help at the OHS Information/Sale booth at the Ohlone College Flea Market - a few times during the year; collecting sale items.

* Be an OHS volunteer transporting Fremont Animal Shelter animals to rescues within the Bay Area and occasionally beyond. Transporting Wildlife Center animals to other facilities.

* Become a much needed foster home by temporarily giving sanctuary to shelter animals for adoption through OHS's Companion Animal Rescue.

* Devote some time to the OHS Spay/Neuter program.

* Fundraising and event planning or participation such as the 2010 Kiwanis Ducks For Bucks.

* Become a Wildlife Center Volunteer.

* Assist with the OHS newsletter "Tail Waggin News".

* Managing or assisting with OHS website development.

* Become a member of our Animal Assisted Therapy with your very special loving dog
* Become a member of OHS.

* Make a donation or bequest to OHS.

For over 25 years, we have worked hard to be a voice for the animals in our area, and for more than six years, with the generosity of the Tri-City Voice, we have tried to bring our message of compassion and respect to more people. The Voice has shown wonderful support and great patience when we were late with columns - when "the job" must take precedence over deadlines - talk about good Karma. Thank you guys!

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