Can it really be December? This year has been a difficult one, so I am not really sorry that the end is in sight. As difficult as 2013 has been, we have had some very bright spots.

We are very grateful for the shelter volunteers who faithfully come to bathe puppies and dogs, socialize kittens, and provide playtime for the animals. A happy, well-socialized animal is much easier to find a home for than one who is scared or unfriendly.

We also receive each monetary gift with gratitude. Although we receive taxpayer money to operate the shelter, we heavily subsidize the shelter operations with donations. We also rely on donations and grants to support our cruelty investigations, humane programs, spay/neuter assistance, rescue efforts, and all of our outreach programs.

We are very thankful when we open the door to the countless people throughout the year who bring gently-used towels and wash clothes, bleach, paper towels, and toys and treats for all kinds of animals. The animal shelter can always use those items.

We appreciate the good folks at the Virginia Beach SPCA who accept hundreds of our dogs each year, and then find them homes.
The people who serve on our fundraising committee spend many, many hours planning events and other fundraising efforts. We are immensely grateful to them.

Of course, no end-of-year reflection would be complete without feeling immense gratitude for the people who come to the shelter and pledge to love the shelter animals they are adopting.

As we contemplate the difficult things of this year, they are overshadowed by the simple, wonderful acts of compassion.

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