Pets play an important role in any family, in fact, sometimes their very presence is what creates a sense of family. Single people often adopt animals for the companionship of a cherished friend. Families with children often consider their lives richer and fuller when a pet comes on board.

Sixty-seven percent of American households (that translates to 85 million) have a pet, according to a 2019-2020 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association. We love those gentle eyes that stare into ours, the joy of nuzzling against them and the overall warm feeling their company provides, now more than ever.

Your compassion and generosity help every pet that touches Dakin Humane Society’s programs and services. Every act of kindness is like a ripple in a pond; each one makes a difference by bringing joy to pets and the people who love them.

Last March, we took in our first COVID-displaced pet for a temporary stay through our Safety Plan for Animals (SPAN) program. Sampa was a nine-year old white terrier with comically oversized ears and a scruffy coat. Her person was in the hospital fighting the coronavirus and we’d hoped to reunite them, but sadly, he passed away.

Our spirits were lifted when a loving person adopted Sampa and gave her a terrific new chapter in her life. Thanks to you, Sampa got the care she needed before she met her new family.

During the summer, we welcomed George to our Clinic PLUS. He brought his cat Smoochey, a 12-year old long-haired grey tabby who was treated for an ear infection. George was thrilled that she would be fine. He told our staff that his wife had passed away two years ago, and that Smoochey was her cat. George wanted to do right by his wife, and got Smoochey seen by a veterinarian. Your generosity helps provide affordable, high-quality medical attention that keeps pets in the arms of those who love them.

Dakin’s Pet Food Aid Program (PFAP) has been distributing record-breaking amounts of dog and cat food this year, thanks to your support. More than 80,000 pounds of pet food (that’s more than 750,000 meals) have been distributed to help people who are facing financial challenges. At our drive-up events, many folks expressed gratitude and said they never thought they’d need our help, but were now struggling to buy pet food.

A woman named Sue told us, “I think this is great. My pets are my babies. My husband got laid off in February, and this helps out very much. The economy is tough.” We wish you could have seen how appreciative people like Jennifer were about receiving the pet food. She told us, “Since suffering a job loss, my biggest

stress has been caring for our animals. The amount of food that we received today will keep their bellies full while we get back on our feet again! So grateful for all you do for the community, and families just like us.”

So many pets including Sampa, Smoochey and the many who have been helped through Dakin’s programs have been touched by your kindness. When you show your love for animals, it doesn’t stop there. That same kindness is extended to their families and you become part of a community that acts compassionately and represents the best elements of the human heart.

From our homes to yours, all of us at Dakin hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Lee Chambers is Media Relations and Development Specialist at Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals in need and the people who care about them.

Lee Chambers is media and public relations manager of the Dakin Humane Society. Dakin delivers effective, innovative services to animals in need and the people who care about them.

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