EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- If you’ve ever adopted a dog or cat, you may not have thought about all of the medical care that the animal has already received, already paid for by the shelter beforehand.
That essential medical care is what the Humane Society of El Paso says is their biggest challenge.
The organization says they're currently seeing around 4,000 animals here a year, and executive director Deb Benedict only sees that number trending upwards.
Of these 4,000 annual dogs and cats, nearly all of them need some form of medical care.
Some of these animals have simple needs, such as vaccinations and spay and neuter surgeries, while others have much more serious issues to tend to.
The Humane Society says they’ve seen dogs come in with gunshot wounds over the last couple of months, something that required leg amputations.
The organization says health is without a doubt the most important aspect to the animals, and being that they operate only on grants, adoption fees, volunteer help, and fundraisers, they say they need all the help they can get to offer the best possible care.
“If we didn’t have the type of medical care that we do, many of our most vulnerable animals would have a very poor outcome here," says Benedict.
"We pride ourselves on having vets, of having medical care that’s available 24/7, 365 days a year," she adds.
Samantha Gambill is the medical services coordinator at the Humane Society of El Paso.
She says the first thing she has to when when an animal comes through is determining what care it needs.
A wrong diagnosis could potentially cause problems for the rest of the animals in the shelter, however she says they know what to do if that situation arises.
“If we have something that comes in that we don’t know is sick, that goes into the back kennels, then we find it shows symptoms the next day, usually we’ll quarantine them," says Gambill.
“We’re really diligent with all of the staff around, including and especially medical to make sure that we catch every symptom that we can," she adds.
Aside from Parvo, Giardia, and other parasitic and bacterial infections, the most common care is vaccinations and spay/neuter operations according to the Humane Society of El Paso.
According to executive director Deb Benedict, the vaccinations and operations are subsidized to grants and donations, which is the only thing the humane society relies on to stay afloat.
She says donating not only goods like probiotics and pet supplements, but also your time, is how you can help the Humane Society if you wish.
“We have a place for everyone, you can come in for a few hours, you can come in as a regular to donate time, walking our animals, we have some fabulous, fabulous seniors who come [and volunteer]," adds Benedict.
If you'd like to volunteer for the Humane Society of El Paso, you can visit their website, click on "Programs," find volunteering, and fill out an application. You can donate online as well through the "Ways to Give" tab.
KVIA is once again helping the Humane Society of El Paso with our annual telethon. You can tune in this Saturday, August 5th, at 4 p.m.
We will also be highlighting the Humane Society’s work every day this week leading up to the telethon.