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HSNEGA’s 5 Weeks of Thank Yous: HSNEGA Team

On this day of Thanksgiving, I want to give my deepest and most heartfelt thanks to the individuals who are “boots on the ground” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to make sure every homeless and neglected animal who comes to our door is safe, healthy, loved and adopted: The awesome team at the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia.

These ordinary heroes save lives each and every day. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true. Our team members witness cruelty and neglect most people cannot even begin to imagine. They repair broken bodies and broken spirits. They champion and advocate for underdogs… and cats! And they deal with emotional highs and lows that surround animals and our connection with them.

Our team often hear the phrase “I couldn’t do your job” and I personally think they should take that as a compliment. Very few people could stand up to the emotional and physical toll of this work. Our team members are special people who love animals on a different level. They care for the animals as if they were their own. At times, they undo the damage done by careless humans. And, on rare occasions, they comfort and lovingly hold those animals who must be humanely euthanized in cases of severe illness or extreme behavior problems.

I can assure you the employees at HSNEGA do not work in animal welfare to increase their personal wealth and rarely sing their own praises. Their jobs are often thankless and heart-wrenching yet their dedication to the animals is unwavering. They work to make a difference. They work as if other lives depend on them. Because they do.

Selflessly, they perform their life-saving work every day of the year, including holidays like Thanksgiving, because even on holidays, animals still need food, water, medical care, and even promotion to help them find a home. And when no one else steps up, they even “take their work home,” fostering critically ill or at-risk rescues overnight, on holiday weekends, and for weeks at a time.

I also can confirm the fact that many of our team members often forget to take care of themselves. They are too invested in caring for the animals to worry about their own well-being. More than once, I’ve had to “force” team members to take time off to rest and refuel their bodies and spirits. Their work isn’t about WHAT they do, but more about WHO they are. I am beyond grateful for their passion and dedication and know, without a doubt, HSNEGA is blessed to have every one of them as part of our family.

~ Julie Edwards, HSNEGA Executive Director