Animal care workers deserve our thanks

The summer months have slipped away, and as the calendar turns to September, the beautiful fall season begins in the Grand Valley.

It is the best time of year to get outside with your favorite four-legged companion and enjoy the weather. Dodging rainstorms has been a bit challenging lately, but the temperatures are perfect.

The turning of the calendar also represents the final summer holiday: Labor Day.

The U.S. Department of Labor describes the holiday this way: “The first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

The holiday was established to recognize the blue collar workers who are the backbone of this country. I always have been proud to say I am one of them!

While all trades and industries deserve recognition on this day, I personally pay tribute to the countless Americans who spend immeasurable time contributing to the care and welfare of our four-legged companions.

There is no Labor Day Holiday, no day off for the folks in the animal industries. It may be a rancher feeding his cows, a veterinarian on call or a college student scrubbing dog kennels at one of the shelters.

The animals could care less about some silly proclamation of recognition, they just want to eat. And those that care for these creatures deserve a gracious thank you for their endeavors.

I recently donated some cat food to a few shelters in town. My first stop was at CLAWS Rescue and Adoption Center, and I was awestruck walking through the door by the number of cats in their facility.

The spotless clinic, burgeoning with content kitties, was a reflection of the pride and honorable duty of the kind folks who tend all those cats. I was in duly impressed. Their volunteers are out in the community rescuing, caring for and finding homes for hundreds of cats every year.

My next stop was the Roice-Hurst Humane Society where I watched a man playing ball with a young Great Pyrenees. The enjoyment both were experiencing was observed by the dog’s happily swaying tail and the man’s broad grin.

Roice-Hurst’s partnership with Mesa County Animal Services and other shelters has saved so many pets’ lives through tireless efforts to find every animal a good home.

Much of the work is done by generous people volunteering time and efforts to care for the animals.

These are just two of our local shelters. There are many other shelters in the area, not to mention breed specific rescues and city and county services for animals.

Veterinarians, boarding kennels and pet sitters also don’t get holidays off, and usually they are busiest on long weekends. Farmers and ranchers tending their livestock don’t get holidays off.

While some of these animal caretakers may get paid for their work, it still requires a special person to devote their life caring for the animals.

During this Labor Day celebration, recognizing the workers in America who have toiled for the betterment of their communities. I applaud and thank those individuals who work in the animal industry.

There are so many people in our community and all over this great country who spend their time, money and efforts caring for the creatures that share our lives.

Thanks to all of you for your service on this Labor Day.

Charlé Thibodeau has been passionate pet caregiver for more than 30 years and is the owner of Ah, Natural! Ltd. If you have a pets question you would like Thibodeau to answer in her column, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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