By HYOJUNG MAY LEE
There is a wonderfully warm place where homeless pets recover from their wounds and they find hope. Lincoln County Humane Society (LCHS), which is located in St. Catharines, offers stray pets a refuge until they meet their forever families.
LCHS has a long history in its mission of protecting vulnerable animals since 1881. This non-profit organization is dedicated to improving animal welfare. Hundreds of stray cats and dogs are rescued and protected at a shelter along with other abandoned pets. “(The) Humane Society cares for and adopts animals out to find them homes. That’s the major goals,” says Rich Song, an animal-care technician.
Shelter animals receive attention from staff members of the Humane Society and visitors who come to see them.
Also, it has volunteers to help shelter animals become socialized and energized.
The LCHS has rooms divided by types of pets, providing cages for dozens of dogs, cats and small animals including rabbits and guinea pigs.
They make the sweetest sounds to receive attention from shelter visitors asking to pet them.
When you step in the room where large dogs stay, dogs welcome you.
Some dogs are recovering from neuter or spay surgery or another treatments. Some of the animals have been hurt by people, but still miss people.
Junhyung Lee, a Culinary Management program student, visited LCHS to look for a pet. “I thought I was going to adopt a dog, but the lovely black cat just caught all my attention. I’m so happy to adopt my cat, Konjuni.”
“One day, I visited SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) by chance and I saw many animals in there. Since then, I always want to adopt a shelter animal rather than buy one at a shop. I know many dogs and cats in the Humane Society receive a lot of attention, but I hope they all find their new owners to live forever in their love,” said Lee.
These innocent-looking animals deserve love.
However, each of these animals have a story about landing in the shelter.
“Sometimes people bring them to us, and then other times we go to catch them on the street. There are a lot (of street animals) especially cats. You find them on the street with no home, but they were owned before by somebody else,” said Song.
In some cases, pets lose their way home. Sometimes they are lucky enough to be returned to their families.
“For example, if they (owners) lose a cat, they can call us and then make a report. When the animal comes in, we can check this with a computer if they have a match. And also (there is) the microchip. A lot of cats have microchips and we have a scanner to scan the number. That’s pretty important when finding cats and dogs too,” said Song.
In Ontario, there are 39 branches of the Humane Society. Song explained why it’s important to have the organizations for animal welfare.
“(The) Humane Society works for both people and animals. Animals get homes, (while) people get their loving animal for good relationships.”
According to The Toronto Pet Daily website, at least 600,000 dogs are euthanized in Canada every year.
And dogs are not the only ones to lose their lives.
“Some people have a negative opinion of the Humane Society. They think we kill animals all the time.
“Nobody wants to do that. The only reason why we do it is if the animal is too sick and needs $10,000 for surgery. We don’t have that much of a budget. We do it (euthanasia) only if absolutely necessary,” said Song.
“There are too many cats outside and a lot of them are in danger. (The) Humane Society helps to get them off the street and get them fixed at the hospital (to regulate population), so they can’t have babies and we get them homes.”
You can help shelter animals by donating or volunteering.
Kevin Strooband, executive director of LCHS, explained by email why these are crucial for the Humane Society.
“Donations are important to continue the work we do: saving lives, promoting adoption and investigating and prosecuting cruelty cases.
“Volunteers are important to assist with animal care mainly with behavioral needs, socializing and helping animals thrive and be better equipped for adoptions. They certainly provide an invaluable service to the LCHS and the animals every day.”
LCHS also has SPCA officers who enforce the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
“In the name is part of our mandate to prevent cruelty,” said Strooband.
If you find stray pets or witness any suspected cruelty or neglect, call a 24-hour emergency contact: 905-682-0767.