All Charm City Companions' volunteers have their own special four-legged companion. We are all devoted to our furry friends and are drawn to this work because of the time we are able to spend with them. While engaging with other pet guardians in underserved communities, we have learned that so many have never had a pet before and that often leads us to reflect on our own personal journey as a pet guardian. How did we learn what to do? Who told us about spay and neuter and how did we know our pets needed access to water 24/7? Basic but critical information to the well being of our pets.
We also found out that these new pet guardians are not necessarily people who opted in. They are often guardians who have opened their heart and their home to another pet guardians in need. There is a significant number of people having to surrender pets for a variety of reasons, often because they simply cannot afford it. But in underserved communities, surrendering to a shelter is not the norm. Instead, people turn to their friends, neighbors, or family members for help in caring for their animal.
One of my favorite stories is of Juanita, our new Charm City companion and client and her three pets that she lovingly rescued from around her neighborhood. Juanita’s new found dog, Pup Pup, brought challenges to Juanita's family, but Juanita met the challenges head on! Pup Pup was free roaming in the neighborhood and when Juanita saw that the poor, defenseless 10 lb. Jack Russell Terrier was being teased, she picked her up and took her home. Fortunately, Juanita found her way to Charm City Companions through her own thoughtful research. We learned during our initial consultation with Juanita that Pup Pup had a growth the size of a walnut. To accommodate Juanita’s busy schedule, that included a full-time job and school, we picked Pup Pup up for her spay appointment. When we returned Pup Pup she was spayed and no longer had the growth. Our local spay/neuter clinic, MD SPCA, removed the growth, at no charge, during the spay surgery for Pup Pup. This was over a year ago and today Pup Pup is doing great! We applaud all new pet guardians, especially those in underserved communities who generously provide for animals in need of care and shelter. These care givers play a pivotal role in preventing hundreds of animals from entering the shelter.