It is a September Saturday. The sun peaks through the clouds. The sounds of music fill the air. The grill is fired up and hot dogs cook in the concession stand. A crowd gathers to see the event participates. Some are big and strong. Others are athletic, nimble, and fast. The sound of the cowbell brings a cheer from the crowd. No, it is not a college football game. It is something quite different. It is the 2nd annual H.O.P.E for Animals Adopt-a-thon. It is an event that focuses on finding a forever home for many great animals in our area. It is no secret that we love animals. Our three dogs are a huge part of our life and our family. We’ve had cats, hamsters, and a rabbit as pets in our home as well in the past. There is a special place in our heart for animals and we always enjoy volunteering to help them.
H.O.P.E for Animals is a non-profit organization with a mission to eliminate unnecessary euthanasia of animals through education, rescue, and low-cost spay/neuter and wellness services. H.O.P.E is actually an acronym for the Humane Organization for the Prevention of Euthanasia. It is a first class organization that provides first class services for animals. “Snip by Zip 46806” is a perfect example. This program gives pit bull owners in a particular zip code the opportunity to get their dog vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered for $5. H.O.P.E is also willing to provide transportation to those dog owners who cannot transport the dog on their own. The 46806 zip code is an impoverished zip code. This service is critical within these neighborhoods. The Adopt-a-thon is another example of how H.O.P.E impacts animals in our community. In 2011, more than 60 animals found a forever home as a result of the one-day event. This year, the event covered two days. I am unsure what the final tally was, but we had the opportunity to celebrate the adoption of many animals during our volunteer experience.
Our role for the day was to manage the prize wheel and lead the celebration of each adoption. When a dog or cat was adopted, the new “parents” visited us at the prize wheel. They earned the right to spend the prize wheel for prizes. After receiving their gift, we had the honor of ringing the cowbell to announce the adoption. Each ring of the bell was followed by cheers and applause from the those in attendance. I have often heard that when a bell rings an angel get its wings. On this particular day, when a bell rang an animal found a home.
We enjoyed the day with H.O.P.E for Animals. It is an organization that we have been wanting to serve with for quite some time. The services provided by this great organization are important in our community. Each day, 10,000 people are born in the United States. Each day, over 70,000 dogs and cats are born in the United States. Where do they live? Where do they go? There aren’t enough homes for these kittens and puppies. Overcrowding leads to the premature euthanasia of these animals. H.O.P.E is working to keep this from happening. If you are in the market for a pet, seek out your local animal shelter or a rescue organization. There are great animals waiting for you and a forever home. We must eliminate the euthanasia of animals. Step up, ring the bell, and celebrate a forever home!