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Dec 15, 2017

In your country, do you have a Humane Society? By that I mean an organization that looks after unwanted animals. The U.S does; it is a charity that works for the good of animals. Here, in each state, you can find these places under the actual title of The Humane Society. The animals that are rescued from bad situations, or found on the streets, are housed in buildings where they get the food and medical attention they need to be healthy. It mainly serves dogs and cats, as they are prolific, and unfortunately sometimes end up homeless, but occasionally other needy animals can be found there. Each dog has its own small room with a bed, a water dish, and a toy to chew. They are taken for a walk each day so they get strong and well, and so they can burn off some nervous energy. The cats, on the other hand, don't go outside because it is more difficult to control them. They can, though, share a roomy cat house that often has 2 or 3 small rooms. They're allowed into a room for their exercise, where they can run, climb, and play with toys. It is a generous and caring environment where many people volunteer, especially the retired, and children. 

I went to Wenatchee's Humane Society last week with my daughter, as she has signed up(1) to be a volunteer. That actually means that I am now officially a volunteer because she is too young to volunteer without an adult. We were given a guided tour by a retired gentleman who likes to help the dogs that have experienced trauma. He pointed out ten new dogs that had arrived the day before from Texas. "Texas?" I asked, "Gosh, that's a long way away." He explained that the recent hurricane in Texas displaced(2) a lot of animals, and some were found wandering around in poor physical condition. A part of the funds that are donated to the Humane Society goes to the rescue crew who search for and find stray animals. Sometimes a person will call to inform the staff that there is an unfamiliar animal in their neighborhood. A crew will then go in a van to retrieve the animal and take it to the shelter. This is all quite a commitment of time and money, and that commitment comes from a love of animals and a desire to be humane.

The first step a person takes before being allowed to volunteer is to sign up online, and then to attend an orientation meeting. About ten people including ourselves were in the meeting room with a lady who explained the philosophy behind the Humane Society, and the history of the Wenatchee chapter. The main focus is to get animals healthy and well adjusted as quickly as possible, so they can then be adopted. A vet works there each morning to spay and neuter the animals before they are adopted, so they do not breed. Population control is an intelligent part of the humane philosophy. The Wenatchee site is a brand new building which was funded by a kind lady who left the money in her will(3). It is modern, clean, and roomy. As volunteers, we have to work at least 12 hours in 3 months, as well as take cat and dog handling classes. There are all sorts of ways in which we can help, from doing the laundry to bathing the animals. I'm excited to share this experience with my daughter, and to be a part of the solution for stray and unwanted animals.

1. 'To sign up' is to register your name with an organization of some sort.

a. The last day to sign up for basketball is December 20th.

b. You can sign up online to help with meals for the hungry.

c. Oh no, I missed the sign up date!

2. 'Displaced' is when people or animals have been forced to leave their normal home environment. It is also a verb of causing something to leave its natural environment.

a. The refugees were displaced because of the ongoing war.

b. Tropical species of fish have displaced some native fish of Florida.

c. Natural disasters often displace people and animals.

3. A 'will' is the legal document that a person has which states that upon his death, certain named people will receive his money or possessions.

a. A wealthy lady left a lot of money to the Humane Society in her will.

b. If you make a will, usually other people have to sign it to make it legal.

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