By: Paulette Dean, Executive Director of the Danville Humane Society

Many years ago, I gave up making New Year’s resolutions.  Instead, I choose a theme for the year.  Some years, the theme is a verse from scripture, and other times it’s a short poem.  This does not keep me from setting goals to be a better person, but I knew I needed to find a better way of improving when, years ago, I set a resolution to, on January 1st of the next year to not weigh what I did on December 31st of the current year.  I gained five pounds!  Yes, I kept my resolution, but certainly not in the way that made me better.

As an organization, we constantly examine our programs and procedures, and set goals for improvement.  For instance, we want our adoption numbers to increase, but not if it means that we are adopting out animals into homes that will not keep the animals safe, secure, and happy.  We want our goals to make life better for the animals.

Our annual theme will always be one of humaneness and compassion.  Our goals help us to live our theme.  For 2012, our goals are:

1. We resolve to continue our important spay/neuter work.  Larger shelters cannot solve the problem of overpopulation; there is only one way to do that, and that is to keep unwanted and homeless dogs and cats from being born.  Since 1993, we have helped spay or neuter 20,000 animals for residents of Danville and Pittsylvania County.  However, our shelter numbers continue to increase.  We will not give up our focus on spaying and neutering, and one day we will be able to live in an area that does not have a large overpopulation problem.

2. We resolve to open the “no-kill” adoption center that is currently being built.  We will remain an open-access shelter (we will not turn away animals), so we will not be able to completely end the euthanasia of animals.  However, animals (dogs, cats, birds, small animals) accepted into the adoption center will be held until adoption or transfer to another group or facility.

3. We resolve to expand our volunteer program; in fact, the success of the adoption center will largely depend on the faithful volunteers who spend time enriching the lives of the shelter animals.

4. We resolve to help as many animals as we can, in any way we can.  You can resolve to be our eyes in the community, and call in complaints of animals that are not being taken care.  You can resolve to help educate your family and friends about issues that affect animals.

Finally, we are grateful for the privilege we have had this year of working on behalf of the animals.  As always, we hope the next year will be a kinder one for the animals.  We are grateful to every person in this community who respects the critters.  Without you, our work would be a heavy burden.

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