On Tuesday morning I had an informational interview with the VP of Development for the SPCA of Texas. She was so kind and generous with her time, and she gave me tons of great information about getting started in the non-profit sector, and about the SPCA of Texas specifically. Did you know that the sad Sarah McLachlan commercials are for one specific group in New York? I was under the impression that the ASPCA was the umbrella group over all the local SPCA shelters. Nope. It’s a separate rescue group/shelter out of New York. But whatever, our monthly donation to them is still going to help animals, no matter if they are here or there. I just thought that was interesting. I had no clue. We will certainly begin donating to our local SPCA as well. They do SO MUCH good in the eight counties they cover.
The VP said that my sales background would be great for development and fund raising, since it’s all about asking for the $$. They are fully staffed at this time, but I filled out a volunteer app since I am not working and have free time during the week. Animal Rescue of Texas usually only needs us on the weekends, although I am doing a training class with someone else’s foster tonight. Camp Chihuahua needed help since there are so many fosters. I used to volunteer at another shelter in town, so I know I will love socializing the animals, and picking up poo/doing laundry/cleaning is no big deal. It’s all for the greater good.
When I was on my tour of the amazing new facility (opened Jan.1st), I went into the intake room where they keep dogs who have been surrendered by owner or brought from kill shelters until they are vetted and put into the general area. There was a pen of 6 roly poly tiny baby pit bulls. OH. MY. GOD. They were like less than a foot long and just round bellied and flopping all over each other to get to the front and yipping and licking me through the bars. I was like, “Can I just change clothes now and climb in there?” I wanted to lay on the floor and let them clamber around on top of me. Puppy attack!
One more thing I wanted to mention with regard to the SPCA of Texas: it is currently one of, if not THE best shelter in the United States. You can read up on it. It was designed for maximum cleanliness and the prevention of disease transmission. The dogs are in pods based on color. There is a yellow pod, a blue pod, a red pod, etc. Each pod is like a glass circle, with one or two dogs in every glass room. They have blankies, beds and toys, and it is supposed to look like they are lounging in your house, as though they were already adopted and comfortable. No cages, just glass rooms in a pod. Each room has a door to enter from the front where they are fed. Feeding through the front allows the dogs to always be facing the glass towards a prospective adopter, not with their head buried in the back corner while eating. There is a hallway down the middle of each pod where volunteers/workers can enter through the back to clean. Each room only shares circulated air with the other rooms in that pod. Each pod of dogs only interacts with each other and goes outside together, etc. No mixing with other pods. This lowers the anxiety of being around so many other dogs as well as lowering disease transmission, etc. If one dog comes down with kennel cough, they can keep it restricted to that particular pod. The shelter is bright and beautiful with artful pictures and happy stories of animals who have been given a second chance at life. It is a place where people will want to return if they don’t see a potential pet on their first visit. Not a sad place, a positive place. I was so impressed and happy for the animals who are lucky enough to be brought there.