The Cambrian

Pet topics: Taking time to give thanks

Each November I look forward to getting together with my family, stuffing myself with great food and catching up on the past year’s happenings.

We also take a moment to give thanks for what we have and to share how grateful we are to have each other.

At the Homeless Animal Rescue Team (HART), our family members have four legs and whiskers. From kittens to seniors, each member has a story behind how they came to be with us and each is truly grateful to be alive and well cared for while they wait togo to their forever homes.

Until that happens, who cares for the many members of the HART family on a daily basis? Mostly, it is our volunteers who give their love, time and funds.

They are the “HARTeam” and they are in the trenches daily doing the hard unglamorous work that must be done. They say “yes” when called upon, even when the sacrifice is great.

Away from the shelter, foster parents house and keep watch over their kitties, including bottle feeding the youngest or medicating those with special needs. Often they absorb the cost of food, meds and other expenses as if the cats in their care were their own.

Transporters travel to and from vets, sometimes as far as Los Osos and back. Other volunteers trap feral cats, spay/neuter them, and return them to their colonies in Cambria.

Behind the scenes our volunteer web master keeps our site current with photos and adoption stories, while another volunteer produces our newsletter.

With over 100 cats in our care at the shelter, our daily cleaners are busy scooping and changing litter boxes, disinfecting floors and cat trees and doing laundry.

Our “Pet Pals” socialize our more timid cats while others purchase and stock supplies.

Our shelter staff is the “face of HART.” They handle the daily operations and keep the shelter running smoothly. In the recent past, our med team sprang into action and worked through a very difficult time, around the clock, to ensure that lives would be saved. Many other volunteerswork tirelessly to keep the shelter running, and we are truly thankful for their hard work.

Without adoptions, monetary donations from our donors and the hard work of our volunteers and staff, HART could not save the lives we do.

A special “thank-you” to Father Heard of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church who recently performed a special blessing of the animals at HART. It was a wonderful spiritual boost for our cats, staff and volunteers. Winston Churchill once said “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” At HART, we give thanks every day for our supporters and the life they help us give our furry friends.

Please join us for our holiday fundraising event, “Santa Paws,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at HART.

Bring your pet for a photo with Santa and preserve their paw print in a “Love Paw” or buy a gift certificate for a “Love Paw Impression Session” as a gift.

All proceeds go to the care and feeding of HART animals. Happy holidays!

Denise Newbarr is a member of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team Board of Directors. For more on HART, call the shelter at 927-7377 or go