LIVERPOOL – Walk into the Queen’s SPCA’s thrift shop any day, and you just might see a foster dog or cat hanging about, waiting to go to it’s forever home.
On this day, there was Angus, who was rescued from a home several weeks ago, in very bad shape. He was covered in feces, not housetrained, and completely unsocialized.
Two weeks of foster care with an SPCA volunteer, Angus turned into a beautiful dog, groomed, well mannered, and housetrained. And best of all, the volunteers had found him a forever home.
But the Queen’s SPCA is having trouble finding foster homes for the animals they take in – and volunteers for many other activities that are required for the care and safety of animals in Queens County.
Jill Grafton is an SPCA volunteer. She says the group takes in as many homeless animals as it can, but it’s volunteer level is about half of what it should be.
“People phone us in different situations, most often they find a cat under their porch or in their shed or something, so what are they going to do. We arrange for these stray or homeless animals to go to the vet, get spayed and neutered, and then we advertise new homes for them.”
The organization has a list of volunteer foster parents, but there is a shortage, says Grafton.
“There’s always a shortage. There’s always more work than the people we have. So we’re always glad when people step up and say ‘can I help?’,”
She says there is a need for foster homes for cats and kittens, but there are other jobs that volunteers can do.
She says there are about a half dozen volunteers right now, they could use another half dozen.
“Certainly fosters, people to sometimes drive pets to the vet, people with computer skills who could make posters or do data entries or that sort of thing,” she says.
Most volunteers, she says, have a passion for animals and don’t like to see animals in distress.
The SPCA has a thrift shop, which is open two afternoons a week. All of the proceeds go to vet bills.
“It’s usually between $30,000 and $40,000, our vet bills. The average animal we do re-home pets, but we also run a low cost low income program to help low income people get their pets spayed or neutered.”
The organization also traps and spays feral cats. She says every animal that is taken to the vet costs about $200.
“What we make from the thrift shop is nice, but it doesn’t do enough to cover all our expenses.”
She said the organization would welcome cash donations, donations to the thrift shop, pet food or pet supplies like old collars and travel crates. People can also leave a bequest to the SPCA in their will.
DID YOU KNOW
· In 2016, QSPCA rehomed 79 cats, two dogs, three rabbits, three pet rats, and two lovebirds.
· In 2016, QSPCA arranged the low-cost spays or neuters for 80 pets of low income earners
· In 2016, QSPCA trapped and spayed or neutered 21 feral cats
· In 2016 QSPCA’s vet bills were over $32,000, all of which had to be fundraised.
· If you want to volunteer or become a board member, call 902-350-2444.