Sadly, the so-called “spooky season” has come to a close as the calendar now reads November. Luckily, these first few days of November are the ones where we get to reminisce (too soon) about the fun Halloween happenings of the year. One particularly sweet new tradition came about this year in Statesville, North Carolina.
On Friday, October 29th, 2021, Iredell County Animal Services opened its doors to little monsters, superheroes, and princesses. I’m talking of course about human trick-or-treaters. The local children celebrated Halloween a few days early by bringing joy to dogs in kennels and kitties in the shelter’s cat room.
Halloween- and dog-loving adults were also encouraged to come, but family pets had to stay home for this one, which was all about the shelter animals. Around 75 children (accompanied by adults) visited the shelter to hand out treats to eager resident dogs. Then they stopped by the cat and kitten area.
Of course, in keeping with the standard Trick-or-Treat traditions, volunteers had stuffed candy bags to hand out to the children. This certainly sounds like THE Halloween event of the season!
A Labor Of Love And Commitment To The Animals
Tracy Dixon, foster and volunteer coordinator/public outreach coordinator for Iredell County Animal Services, described the event as a huge success. Dixon also hopes it will encourage some new volunteers of all ages and result in more adoptions. In fact, some of the animals that trick-or-treaters visited ended up getting adopted at the event.
“We talked to people today a lot about our rabies clinics, which are the second Tuesday of every month. We’re hoping to maybe instill an interest in somebody that possibly would want to come and volunteer or foster. We didn’t want to decorate because we wanted them to see the shelter as it is; we wanted them to be the decoration.”
As for how this event was such a success, Dixon credits the shelter’s dedicated staff and volunteers. This “Reverse Trick-or-Treat” has been in the works since September.
“This staff here — I cannot say enough good things. These people live, breath and eat animal care. They love on these dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mules, it doesn’t matter what it is. I’ve never seen a collective group in the same spot that is more passionate than these people.”
What a wonderful way for families to celebrate Halloween and make some shelter animals feel loved and included! I hope my local shelters take note for next Halloween.