By Julie Handy, APS Animal Behavior Manager
A woman wearing a neck brace sits on a folding chair with her large dog, holding his brand-new leash attached to his brand-new Easy Walk harness, as they wait to get a free rabies vaccine and microchip.
“Thank you so much!” she says. “It will be so much easier to walk him now.”
A gentleman is waiting in line, holding onto half of a severed leash. We exchange it for a new six foot leash.
Another dog is wearing a prong collar, which we exchange for a comfortable nylon one.
For hours, scenes like these play over and over, as APS hands out collars, leashes and Easy Walk harnesses to animals and people in need.
On October 28th 2017, APS and partners – Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Durham County Department of Public Health, and NC State College of Veterinary Medicine – provided free rabies vaccines, microchips, ID tags, and exams to needy families and their pets in our community.
We also reserved two days in November with SNAP-NC, which we advertised at the event, so we could provide low-cost spaying and neutering to those in need.
But it didn’t stop there! Medical care is vital for pets, and so is behavioral care. The Behavior Department at APS, along with dedicated volunteers, gave out information on how to deal with behavioral issues we are commonly asked about for both cats and dogs. This will lead to people dealing with these issues and keeping their pets, rather than getting frustrated and surrendering them to the shelter.
The Behavior Department and volunteers also gave out collars, leashes, and Easy Walk harnesses to those in need. Not only were we able to give these items, but our trained staff and volunteers properly fitted these items on the dogs. We were also able to explain the advantages of these items and impart our knowledge to members of the community.
The event was a huge success! Families in need and their pets received both the medical and behavioral help needed to make happier, healthier pets and human-pet relationships!