When Homer’s owner realized that he was injured beyond their ability to care for him, they did one of the only things left for them to do – they called Durham County Animal Services. The Animal Services Officer was told that Homer had leapt from the bed of a moving truck several days earlier, his leash had gotten caught, which dragged him some distance before the vehicle stopped. His wounds were intense, dirty, and infected. The healing process was going to be a slow one. They couldn’t afford the veterinary care he needed. They surrendered him to Animal Protection Society of Durham, for us to take on his care and provide him with the veterinary medical treatment he immediately needed to heal and become whole again. They sought our help, and APS of Durham was there to answer the call, pick up the pieces, and meet Homer’s needs.

APS of Durham is often the last bastion of support for the neglected and forgotten, the hurt and desperate animals in our community. We are a shelter made up of people who give our heart, soul, indeed our entire selves for the betterment of animals in need. The health of our people doing this heartbreaking, and rewarding, work is not often the first thing considered when mourning the unfathomable pain experienced by neglected animals, like Homer. However, the caregivers experience the trauma of cruelty, neglect, and injury day in and day out. But they keep going. They don’t stop.

They can’t.

The costs of animal cruelty and neglect are immeasurable. They go well beyond the veterinary medical bills to treat physical wounds. They extend to the people who show up every day – both staff and volunteers – to ensure animals have a clean place to stay, food, fresh water, enrichment, medical care and – quite possibly more importantly – love, compassion, and tenderness. The toll taken on the caregivers is not considered often enough in animal welfare, but it is there, hiding in plain sight.

The commitment of our people is why it is possible for Homer and animals like him to have a place of refuge, with a caring person to address his needs and give compassionate, loving attention necessary for healing to begin and – in the end – prevail.

Homer is safe and sound, receiving the medical care that he needs to become whole again. This journey is an epic one, requiring us to push past perceived limitations and achieve what feels insurmountable. As the poet Homer described of Odysseus and his epic journey so long ago: the animals, staff, and volunteers at APS of Durham are resourceful, courageous and demonstrate immense endurance to carry on and never quit, doing the work that only the most compassionate and strong can endure. These are the actions of our amazing community, a group of like-minded people with the strength of character to endure. The end is part of the journey, but this journey only begins again, and so must the perseverance.

I am grateful to convey that Homer is on the road to recovery. He is living temporarily in the home of one of our compassionate volunteers. There, Homer is recovering from his trauma and wounds, his bandages are carefully changed daily, and injuries monitored regularly so he can continue his healing journey.

Stories like this one are necessary to share so our community of donors, funders, leaders, neighbors, and friends can also understand that the most valuable and important resource for the animals at APS of Durham are our people. When you invest in APS of Durham, you invest in our animals AND our people.

In the end, we need your support.

We need it to continue to provide for the people who take on the care of the animals. Your support of APS of Durham and our people makes it possible for the animals to be given the best possible care. You make a difference every day through your gift.

Our staff are your neighbors, your friends, animal welfare professionals, and superheroes.

Please show your support of them and the animals today with a donation to the shelter.

For the love of animals,

Shafonda Allen
Executive Director

Together, we can change the lives of animals like Homer. Please join us today in providing a life saving gift.