Saving lives is hard. We couldn’t do it without you. Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, recognized through Saturday, isn’t just a chance to thank our incredibly dedicated staff, but also you, our community, volunteers, sponsors, donors and those who have and will adopt a pet from our shelter and others.

We so appreciate our volunteers. They take the dogs out for walks and in the yard to play, often giving our animals a break from shelter life. We’d love to have you come out and volunteer. Volunteers who are 18 and younger need a guardian to attend orientation with them.

Volunteers ages 16-18 may volunteer after orientation without a guardian while those younger than 16 need to have a guardian with them when volunteering.

It takes a special person to take an animal into their home until a permanent one can be found, especially when the pet needs medical care. That’s exactly what rescue groups do and they’re vital to our success.

We also have several fosters in the community who take in a dog or cat for a day, week or longer, giving them a break from shelter life while helping us learn more about the animals temperament, so that our staff is able to better place them in a forever home.

The biggest obstacle for any animal shelter is pet overpopulation. That’s why we’re proud our adoption fee includes spay or neuter, in addition to rabies vaccination and a microchip. This means pets adopted from the ARC won’t have litters that end up in shelters. Sterilization can cost hundreds of dollars, so our $85 adoption fee is a bargain. Animal Alliance of Galveston County is a valuable partner in this effort.

Realizing your pet has escaped his home is terrifying. When this happens and one of our animal control officers pick up the animal, the goal is to find the owner and get the “fur-baby” home. This is much easier when the pet is microchipped.

Not able to foster or adopt at this time? Donating to our Sponsor a Heart fund gives long-term shelter animals a second chance by greatly reducing or completely doing away with adoption fees. Our Heal-A-Heart fund provides medical care to the dogs and cats in our care. Every donation saves lives. Many dogs and cats need veterinary care for minor complications.

You can also:

• Adopt your next pet from a shelter;

• Volunteer;

• Be a responsible pet owner by spaying/neutering your pet and ensuring your pet wears their collar and ID tags; and

• Donate needed supplies.

If you don’t follow the Galveston County Animal Resource Center on Facebook, please do. It’s our best way of communicating what animals we have up for adoption, any strays we pick up and needs we currently have with which you can help.

Visit www.gchd.org/ARC, facebook.com/garcpets or call 409-948-2485 to learn more about the ARC. Or, stop by the shelter at 3412 Loop 197 (25th Avenue North) in Texas City.

Thank you for the support.

Amber Adams is the animal services director at the Galveston County Animal Resource Center.

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