As you probably imagine, most animals come to us nameless. Most in fact come to us not only nameless but without any history at all other than what we can determine based on their physical and emotional health. However, when it comes to our animals, despite the fact that we literally save thousands of lives every year, each is an individual. And each individual needs a name. We often give an animal a name based on a physical characteristic, like Onyx for a mostly black dog. Sometimes a piece of popular culture enters the mix, like Tina Fey for an especially “bossypants” little kitten. Sometimes we just get downright silly, like Alec Bald-Wing (for a small parrot who came to us injured and missing some of his feathers).
If a family surrenders an animal to us we keep the name to help ease the stress that animal may be going through while transitioning through the shelter into a new home. Names have meaning and history and more often than not, people have associations with names. Like the name of our organization, for example, which sounds very similar to other animal organizations, including national ones. Yet we are 100% local and depend 100% on local donations.
We receive no funding nor do we take any direction from any of the groups with national-sounding names (like Humane Society of the US, or ASPCA). There are thousands of humane societies and SPCAs around the world, but none of us is in any way related. Just like every Jane and Joe is their own Jane and their own Joe, not a cousin of the millions of Janes and Joes out there. PHS/SPCA is YOUR humane society and SPCA. When you adopt an animal from PHS/SPCA, you help us save a life. When you volunteer at PHS/SPCA, you help us save more lives. And when you donate to PHS/SPCA you help us save the thousands of lives who come to us in need of so very much: medical attention, food, behavioral help, shelter, comfort, love – and, yes, even in need of a name.