In mid-July, my husband and a friend found a one-pound, lone kitten. When we were certain “mom” wasn’t returning, I called the Darlington County Humane Society for guidance.
I would attempt to foster this kitten until she was old enough to be adopted, but I was clueless. Jackie Kirven patiently listened and gave me simple step-by-step instructions, followed by an invitation to come by the shelter to pick up a few essentials: a kitty bottle, some formula and a very informative pamphlet.
When I arrived at the shelter, I discovered a bustling yet orderly whole new world. What that shelter does for our community behind the scenes is nothing short of incredible, and I don’t know the half of it.
As we have fostered “Kennedy,” I have called and returned to the shelter a handful of times for questions or concerns and vet appointments. Each visit has expanded my view of both the enormity of the task they have at hand and the grace and poise with which they carry it all out.
Every time I have gone to the shelter, what strikes me profoundly is the number of volunteers enlisted to help meet the needs. I asked Jackie, the director of the shelter, about all of the volunteers. She made it abundantly clear, they simply could NOT do all they do without the volunteers.
My heart was deeply touched, and it brings tears to my eyes as I type about one of my experiences yesterday. There were dozens of dogs being walked on leashes by dozens of volunteers, some of whom I learned were students and their teachers from the Governor’s School in Hartsville. This was on a Saturday! What a sight to behold, along with the even deeper meaning.
The treatment and care of the animals they shelter is only a piece of the picture. I have personally witnessed some of the real-time “opportunities” they have to manage on a moment’s notice: a lady at the gate with two strays in her car; Animal Control arrivals; phone calls from concerned citizens about this, that or the other; a call from the county coroner about a pet whose owner has passed away but family lives out of state and will get there as soon as possible.
All of this (and I KNOW there is so much more) to say three cheers to all of the people at the Darlington County Humane Society! They are heroes of a different breed, yet just as necessary and valuable to a community as the frontline workers we’ve heard so much about over the past 18 months! Thank you for all you do!