Homeless Animals Take the Spotlight

Aug 16, 2012

Helping pets in need is something those who work in animal rescue do throughout the year. But International Homeless Animals’ Day – which is celebrated this week – puts a focus on homeless animals for those who don’t think about the issue on a regular basis.

International Homeless Animals’ Day is sponsored by the International Society for Animal Rights, and according to the organization’s website, the third Saturday of August is a day when the spotlight is put on what ISAR calls the “pet overpopulation epidemic.” That day is Aug. 18 this year.

Sue Nevins, president and founder of Road Runner Rescue, deals with overpopulation on the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia by bringing animals from four Delmarva shelters to more populated areas, where the animals are more likely to be adopted, she said.

Today she was on her way back to Somerset County, where her nonprofit is based, from Waldorf, Md., where she brought cats from Wicomico and Somerset counties to a rescue organization there.

“We just don’t have the population down by us to support that, and we don’t have a lot of good homes,” Nevins said.

She said when people adopt rescue pets, they should already be spayed and neutered. She and Linda Mills of Coalition of Caring both emphasized the importance of having pets spayed and neutered because of the large animal population.

Coalition of Caring is one of three causes that benefits from funds raised by the Tim Kennard River Run. Mills, who is one of the Tim Kennard race directors, said Coalition of Caring makes donations to rescue groups across Maryland and also assists with medical expenses for animals, from spaying to heartworms to a spider bite.

A dog that was going to be euthanized but is now owned by a local resident has been chosen as the honorary 2013 dog for the Tim Kennard River Run.

Mills said all funds raised for Coalition of Caring go directly to helping animals.

The Humane Society of Wicomico County is an open-admissions shelter that accepts stray and surrendered animals – about 3,000 to 4,000 per year – according to Executive Director David Fitzgerald.

“Our attempt is to re-home these animals – place them into homes for adoption,” he said.

Each animal has an evaluation when it comes into the facility, Fitzgerald said. He said the only animals that are euthanized are those that have serious health problems or an aggressive temperament beyond the scope of what the Humane Society can handle. Fitzgerald said sometimes, people don’t understand that resources such as a veterinarian are not immediately available and animals are euthanized so they do not suffer.

Fitzgerald said the Humane Society works with other rescue organizations as well.

He said another myth is that the Humane Society is fully funded by tax dollars, which he said is not correct.

“We do depend on the public’s support for monetary and product donation,” Fitzgerald said.


Road Runner Rescue: Send funds to P.O. Box 155, Upper Fairmount, Md. 21827

Coalition of Caring: Send funds to Tim Kennard River Run, 116 E. Main St., Salisbury, Md. 21801 and specify that you would like the donation to go to Coalition of Caring.

Humane Society of Wicomico County: Send funds to 5130 Citation Drive, Salisbury, Md. 21804.