Hope. Hope is a word that has new meaning for me these days. Hope for a new home for our Animal Centre. Home for a humane community. Hope for the future. Jonathan Sacks says, “Optimism is the belief that things will be better. Hope is the faith that together, we can make things better.”
I couldn’t find a better definition for the work of the GTHS. Together, we are building a better future. Together we are building hope.
Almost 10 years ago, I began my employment with the GTHS. I was the first employee and I was filled with an immense amount of gratitude and responsibility for realizing the mission and vision of the organization.
At the time our waiting list was 3 months long for homeless pets to come in, and we did not offer spay/neuter or any outreach services to our community. We simply did not have the capacity due to the overwhelming numbers of homeless animals in need of care and shelter.
Looking back on that time fills me with a sense of awe at how far we have come. I am overwhelmed by the hope that we, together, are able to offer pets and people in our community.
10 years ago, 500 animals were able to receive shelter and safe haven with hundreds more needing to be turned away or abandoned. Today, 1500 animals find safe haven while hundreds more get to stay with their families due to innovative programming that keeps pets with their beloved families.
10 years ago feral cats were a problem that was so overwhelming to address we simply did not include them in our services. Today we perform 200 feral cat surgeries per year, 100% subsidized by our donors.
10 years ago, we would receive litter after litter of kittens without a long-term, proactive solution to provide. Today, again due to our donors, we run a fully accredited Companion Animal Hospital that fixed over 2500 pets per year preventing 30,000 potential puppies and kittens from being born.
10 years ago, hope was our dream. Hope was our foundation. Today, hope is our reality – the air we live and breathe daily. The fuel that allows us to ensure those that are most vulnerable in our community have services geared specifically towards their needs – both emergency- and wellness-based. From an isolated senior who experiences a moment of joy due to the companionship of a purring cat to a woman that takes comfort that her best friend, her dog, is safe while she seeks shelter from a dangerous situation. Hope has enabled us to move from reaction to action, making a real, measurable, and long-lasting impact that is foundationally powered by our collective love for pets and the wellness they bring to us as people.