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Essential Services: Coping with Corona

Zena practicing social distancing from Parker at Home for Life®!

Left: Zena practicing social distancing from Parker at Home for Life®!

This week required shutdown happened in the State of Wisconsin where Home for Life® is located on forty acres on the Apple River in Star Prairie, Wisconsin. With 200 animals who are counting on us to care for them, the essential services of Home for Life® go on for our vulnerable cats and dogs, and our sanctuary will not be closing. We are grateful to our small staff of dedicated employees who realize how absolutely dependent our cats and dogs and mascots, our parrots Candy and Penelope and tortoise Goliath, are now more than ever with the world thrown into an uproar. These were the animals who were passed over for adoption and foster programs and had no place to turn when they came to us - they needed that third chance and that's what Home for Life®, the third door in animal welfare, provided to them when their lives hung in the balance.

Helping animals in need at this critical time - CC was at Minneapolis Animal Control and scheduled for euthanasia

Left: Helping animals in need at this critical time - CC was at Minneapolis Animal Control and scheduled for euthanasia

Yesterday, we received a very heart-wrenching call from a frightened woman and her husband, both seniors and both cancer survivors, who have serious health issues. They have two beloved cats. They are just terrified over what may become of their cats who are shy and bonded should they, their owners and caretakers, die of the coronavirus. They offered Home for Life® $100 if we would be sure to come to their house and take the cats in if they passed away.

It makes us very sad to think of people like these vulnerable seniors being so terrified. This Corona virus is undermining people in the most cruel of ways - it is an agent that a person can't see and really cannot defend against we're told, since even people who look like they are well can still harbor it and infect others. It leaves people like these cat owners feeling helpless and terrified.

It's reasonable to follow the recommendations of health professionals who are knowledgeable but having 24/7 news reduce already fragile people to this state seems unnecessary. We told them we would help them with the cats if it came to that and  hoped by reassuring them that we would help we could lessen the burden of such fear that they are convinced they are at risk of imminent death.

Joan Baez wrote that action is the antidote to despair so we are doing what we can to stay healthy and safe but we are also continuing to help animals in need as much as we can. Animals are still in need. With even the Humane Society closing down last week, hours cut at the pounds, and every one drawing in their oars and hunkering down for the foreseeable future, there are going to be many cats and dogs in need that will find every door closed to them as out of fear people focus on themselves and theirs. But Home for Life® refuses to just drift along helplessly. We believe we can still be an agent for change, not in spite of, but especially during these times and especially for some of the cats and dogs who wouldn't find help otherwise.

Gracie who is feline leukemia positive and barely a year old was rescued as a stray found outside a gas station

In the last week we have taken in two cats: one with feline leukemia and a senior with diabetes surrendered for euthanasia by his owner as well as a hound dog on death row at animal control. Where Home for Life® has the ability to help and relieve some anguish, we are going to continue to do exactly that. That helps allay some of OUR angst and anxiety too during these turbulent times knowing it's still in our power to make a difference. Circumstances may not be within our control but our response always is.

We will be sharing updates from Home for Life® during this troubling time and we hope that the stability and loving care the sanctuary represents will serve as a counterpoint to the chaos for those of you who love animals and believe in our work on behalf of the most vulnerable cats and dogs.

Facing down this crisis; doing good and sharing hope is the antidote for these dark days - Knowing you can make a difference is empowering and restores faith that days will be better. Please don't forget our animals and the essential services Home for Life® provides for the most vulnerable cats and dogs especially in this time of crisis.

Please - Help us help them as they cannot ask for themselves.

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