Adopters—The Superheros of Animal Welfare

by Kimberly Wade

Recently, one of our directors was travelling and saw a fun billboard (on the east coast, not local) advertising superheros. It gave her an idea. She came back to me and we began to brainstorm. Superheros can be from any walk of life, have any personality, and be any age. Superheros, in modern fiction, are described as costumed characters who possess supernatural or superhuman powers and who are dedicated to fighting for good. We joked that adopters are superheros—without the tights—and then we realized that it wasn’t a joke. Truly, our adopters are superheros, because every day they are fighting for the lives of homeless pets. Their ammunition comes in the forms of donations, volunteering their time, becoming a foster family or the big one, adopting. As a community we know it takes a village for such successful lifesaving, so wouldn’t you agree that all of you are the superheros helping us fight this battle to save even more lives every single day?

Superhero Story #1. A gentleman from Vegas has been following us for years, watching our success, even trying to mimic it. He took in a large number of cats (for a variety of reasons) and wanted to help all of them. Things got a bit out of control, and as he hit troubled times that he couldn’t dig out from under, he called us. Within days, he was driving from Vegas to Reno with his cats, giving them up because he knew he could no longer care for them and he knew that we would. That takes a lot, owning up to mistakes or maybe not so great decisions. Giving up your family—really, these cats are his family. And then knowing that you probably won’t see those cats again—that’s tough. We consider him a superhero for recognizing what was good for the cats, and now, as they are being adopted into our community, you are the superheros as the adopters.

Superhero Story #2. Herman, a horse, was not being properly cared for by his person. He’s a mustang, so those of you that know horses, well, you know Herman is special. He needs some socialization, some work, and some time. He was given up because again, the person recognized that he wasn’t able to care for Herman, and the horse wound up in our care. Several of our staff, along with several staff from Washoe County Regional Animal Services, have been giving Herman the TLC he needs for the last several months. It’s a superhero partnership! Finally, Herman was given the all clear that he was ready for adoption, and we posted his handsome face on Facebook. Within minutes, we had a phone call, and within two days, that call turned into an adoption. Herman is going home next week to be with his new family—who, we may add, have another mustang and are well-versed in horses. Herman had several superheros in his story, from his current caregivers to his new family.

Superhero Story #3. Kona, a stunning, eight-month-old Golden Retriever. She’s the most well-behaved, sweetest little thing. Her challenge? She’s been diagnosed with a serious heart condition. We tried to be her superhero, hoping surgery would make things better, but she’s not a candidate. So for us to be her superhero, we need to find her a home. She needs a very calm, quiet home, with someone who understands she can’t really do typical dog things. She can’t get excited or go swimming or for runs. She needs to be a couch potato. As we talk about how all of you have been, and continue to be, such superheros to our homeless pets, is there anyone who can step up for Kona? We know you are out there, but maybe together, we can find just one more superhero to make a difference.

If you’ve ever wished that you could be more like a superhero, now is the time. Share those photos of adoptable pets, donate your time (and dollars) to help be the voice of the voiceless, tell your friends about the cute kitten you saw while visiting the shelter, and help nus find a home for Kona. Superheros are all around us and don’t ever doubt you aren’t a part of this movement—because you are. We’re all superheros—without the tights—and we deserve to be recognized.

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