Dogtime salutes Ohio’s Erie Shores Humane Society.
How did your organization get started?
Erie Shores Humane Society’s history began in 1983, when a group of around 30 individuals wanted something better (than the local dog pound) for the many unwanted stray animals in Lorain County, Ohio.
What is your mission?
We stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets to eliminate the unwanted pet population and work to eliminate cruelty and abuse of animals, to educate the public of the responsibilities of pet ownership, and to oppose the policy of euthanizing animals except under extreme physical injury or illness. Our motto is “We Speak For Those That Can’t.”
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
We will work in parternship with other organizations to pull dogs from the pound before they can be euthanized. Sadly, many of our recent rescues are stray/abandoned dogs and cats found wandering the streets. The economy in this area, with plant closings and foreclosures, has tripled our rescue calls and pleas for help.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
Once they have been checked over by one of many local vets we work with, get spayed or neutered, and receive any medical attention needed or brough up to date with vaccines, they are introduced into a volunteer foster family. Our foster families are our lifeline and the reason we have a very low return rate. Any social issues, housebreaking, or general manners are evaluated and worked on. These foster families then determine the best owner situation that these animals can be placed in.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
It was a rainy evening the night Oliver’s life would change forever. Erie Shores humane investigator Becky had received a call about a group of dogs that were being neglected, one of many calls she and others on the volunteer rescue team receive daily.
A seasoned animal rescuer, even Becky could not believe the condition of Oliver when she found him. Covered in feces, his ears chewed and mangled by flies, this poor dog who should be a healthy 70 pounds weighed in at barely 30. His nails had grown into the pads of his paws and he had the worst case of flea infestation she had ever seen. She found no signs of food or water and Oliver had dug a tunnel under the doghouse he was chained to so he could escape the heat and flies.
But Oliver’s story does not end there. You see, after only a few short weeks of medical attention, nourishing food and a loving environment, Oliver was introduced into his new home. A family who would love him forever, and Oliver, in return, enriched this family’s autistic son’s life as a loyal buddy and companion, and helped this young boy blossom and come out of his shell. We at Erie Shores Humane Society call it the “Circle of Love.”