Cheryl Wicks: It does take a village |

Cheryl Wicks: It does take a village

Cheryl Wicks

At 5 p.m. on June 30 Sammie’s Friends completed 10 years of operating the Nevada County Animal Shelter.

During that time we have saved close to 20,000 lives and kept the euthanasia rate below 1% (down from an all time high of 68%). There are so many to thank for making this possible. Without this wonderful community, and beyond, to donate, volunteer, adopt and foster, none of this would have been possible. We love our veterinarians who have helped us beyond anything we could have ever expected. We thank Rick Haffey, who was the county CEO in 2010 for placing confidence and trust in us, that a small organization, like Sammie’s Friends, could pull this off. We keep our word!

We thank our current staff and all those that have worked at the shelter over the years for their love and dedication to the animals. A big thanks to our partners in Animal Control for their hard work and dedication.

Every day at the animal shelter is filled with surprises and challenges and just when you think you’ve seen it all something brand new pops up. Going back over all the wild events of the past 10 years a few things pop into my mind.

I can’t imagine anything more gratifying than to serve God’s creatures and give them the lives they deserve.

The time we received 55 dogs off of someone’s property, that didn’t even know someone was squatting there with all those dogs.

Or the time a woman learned that there were 41 horses on her property and she had no idea where they came from.

Then there was the time that a couple showed up at 4 p.m. with a trailer filled with 108 cats and one dog to turn in. And the time when we received nine big birds at 10:30 at night who needed a great deal of medical care and were found standing in six inches of bird poop.

One time Animal Control brought us 41 fowl (ducks, geese, chickens) along with a few dogs and cats.

This work is not for the faint of heart. You have to be ready to turn on a dime and solve some mighty big problems really fast.

Somehow, beyond all probability, Sammie’s Friends always comes through for the animals.

My description of working at the shelter at times goes like this — imagine an egg beater in your brain with your head in a clothes dryer with six people talking to you at once about important and urgent matters and your job is to make great decisions about complex issues and stay calm and be kind while doing that. OMG!

It is our delight and privilege to be allowed to serve the animals for the past 10 years. I can’t imagine anything more gratifying than to serve God’s creatures and give them the lives they deserve.

With the utmost respect and gratitude to everyone involved, Cheryl and Curt.

Cheryl Wicks is the Co-Founder and President of Sammie’s Friends.

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