Cheryl Wicks
Submitted to The Union

No more homeless pets

In October, Best Friends Animal Society hosted its annual conference, “No More Homeless Pets,” in Las Vegas. Every state but one was represented, and there were many attendees from Mexico and Canada and even South Africa and Israel.

Best Friends Animal Society has the world’s largest sanctuary in beautiful Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah. It has taken a worldwide leadership role in leading the charge for “No More Homeless Pets.” Myself, Curt and four others from Sammie’s Friends were in attendance at this conference. I was asked to be one of the guest presenters. The topic was “The Journey to Being a No Kill Community.”

Nevada County is one of the very few shelters in the U.S. to have that status. We can all be proud of what we have accomplished in this community to provide a better life for our wonderful animals. The many shelter volunteers, a very large supportive community and Sammie’s Friends have reduced the euthanasia rate from nearly 70 percent in 2001 to less than 1 percent now.

I have received calls from all over the U.S. asking for help from others to create this in their own community. What an honor.

Best Friends believes that the major social issue for the next decade will be “No More Homeless Pets.” There are so many more people involved in helping than ever before. There is a huge emphasis placed on spaying/neutering to reduce overpopulation. Also a big effort is put into rescue and rehabilitation.

At Sammie’s Friends we have our wonderful Beverley Ward who performs miracles when it comes to the dogs and their behavior. So many more are adoptable than ever before. We are also now working with a wonderful volunteer to help with kitty behavior problems. With this expertise available more animals can also stay in their homes and not come to the shelter.

There is research showing that there are enough homes to accommodate the cats and dogs available. For each animal, we need to find just one right person. The Internet and all of its services help so much. With Petfinder, Facebook, Pinterest, Craigslist and other social media, our animals can be seen all over the country and get adopted by many people outside of Nevada County.

If you have animal behavior problems and need some help, please contact Sammie’s Friends at (530) 471-5041, and we will help you if we possibly can. One of our goals is to educate the public regarding animal care, making a better life for the animals and more fun and bonding for the people and their pets. Pets have been shown to reduce stress in their relationships with people. To have a pet is truly a treasure and a gift.

We hope that you all enjoy your pets and can have the maximum benefits from sharing a life with a pet.

Sammie’s Friends is here to help end the plight of homeless, abused, abandoned and neglected pets.

Working together we can all accomplish this.

Cheryl Wicks is the executive director of Sammie’s Friends.


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The Union Updated Dec 21, 2012 04:00AM Published Dec 20, 2012 09:42PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.