Happy New Year! It's amazing to me that we're sliding into the year 2018, when the whole idea of the new millennium seemed so far away for so long. Nevertheless, here we are, living in the future, with our hoverboards, pocket computers and voice-activated devices. I'm still waiting on those flying cars.
Even better than high-tech toys and gadgets though, is that here in the future, positive change and progress for pets is being noticed in animal welfare organizations country-wide.
Some animal shelters are reporting lower numbers of pets being surrendered by their owners for behavioral reasons and others are reporting a reduced number of homeless pets in their communities. Both decreases are due, at least in part, to the increased reach of affordable spay/neuter and veterinary care, as well as behavior training resources to help more people keep pets in their homes and out of shelters.
This is very positive progress, but here locally we are still seeing plenty of homeless or surrendered pets come through our doors, so we will continue to focus on our mission of providing shelter and care to these pets while they await adoption, educating the public about the proper care and treatment of animals, supporting efforts to combat animal abuse and providing spay, neuter and veterinary services to the public at affordable prices.
None of this would be possible without the support we receive from people like you in our animal-loving community. We hope that you will continue to stand by us as we strive for continued, positive animal welfare change.
One of the ways you can offer your support is by attending or participating in our fun, fundraising events in the coming year. Here's a peek into the future at the SPCA Albrecht Center:
In January, registration and fundraising will begin for the 2018 Walk for Animals which takes place in April. A new, user-friendly, online platform will allow you to register as an individual or join a team, set your own goal, see your progress and share your fundraising page through email or social media to raise even more funding for the animals!
February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and February 27th is World Spay Day, when we will once again host our SPAY-ghetti Dinner from 5 - 8pm to raise funding for our affordable spay and neuter program.
Our popular Yappy Hours will start earlier this year, on March 7th, and continue through the summer all the way into fall from 6:00 until 8:00pm on the following dates: April 4, May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 5 and October 3. Admission will remain free, leashed dogs are always welcome, and we'll have live music, a cash bar, food for purchase and the dog park and pool will be open for everyone.
April is National Volunteer Month, and once again, SPCA volunteers will be celebrated and honored at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on April 8th. Also on this day, Serena's Star 2018 will be awarded to an outstanding pet who is making a difference in our community. Look for more information and a nomination form in March at LetLoveLive.org or follow us on Facebook for announcements.
Just a few days later, get your walking shoes laced and leashes ready for the 2018 Walk for Animals! Register to walk as early as January and gather sponsors to raise money for homeless pets. The Walk and after-party are scheduled for April 14th from 9:00am until 1:00pm. Stay tuned to LetLoveLive.org and our Facebook page for more information soon.
May brings the SPCA's fourth annual Kitten Shower and Supply Drive. Help gather supplies in preparation for Kitten Season and drop-in for a shower on May 5th from 11am - 2pm. There will be lots of kitten cuddles, shower snacks and plenty of fun. A wish list will be available at LetLoveLive.org leading up to the event.
May also brings back the SPCA's Dog Washes on the second Saturday of each month May through September from 10:00am until 2:00pm on the patio. SPCA volunteers will happily lather, rinse and towel dry your dirty dog 'til he's fresh and clean. Nail trims and ear cleaning are available, too. Prices vary depending on dog size and proceeds help the SPCA continue to care for the homeless dogs and cats awaiting adoption. Dog Wash dates are May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11 and September 8.
After the dog days of summer, it's time to get ready for what is sure to be a tail-waggin' good time at a new, *soon to be announced* super fun, pet-friendly, fall event that will take the place of Barkaritaville's five-year run. Stay tuned!
Keep up with these events and more at LetLoveLive.org or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/spcaalbrechtcenter. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram. Have a very yappy new year and a fantastic, fur-filled future!
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA.