Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Burdo gives animals second chance
By Kristine Giurco
“I wake up everyday and am happy to go to work because my job is so rewarding. I don’t think I could narrow my love down to just one thing,” said Rebecca Burdo.
The Elmore SPCA Animal Shelter, located on 556 Telegraph Road in Peru, NY, is home to many animals and also, Burdo, shelter manager.
The location is a non-profit organization with a no kill animal policy. The main objective of the shelter that Burdo enforces is to rescue and rehome the cats and dogs that are brought in.
Burdo’s job entails dealing with the community, adoption services, and veterinarians. She has been shelter manager for the last 3 years.
“I am most passionate about creating a family with every adoption,” said Burdo. Olivia Pizarro, Burdo’s employee, said that her boss tries to make adoption accessible for everyone. Burdo’s adoption policy requires the applicants to have 2 person references and an appropriate home life.
Bonnie Miller, Elmore SPCA Animal Shelter’s coin manager, said that adopters are constantly expressing their gratitude for Burdo’s kindness, empathy, and willingness to help during the adoption process.
Burdo makes the adoption fees significantly lower than other shelters to make the adoption process more attainable for an assortment of people.The shelter gets no profit off the adoptions. The cost includes only bedding and medical procedures, according to Pizarro.
Pizarro described Burdo by claiming that she, “Takes no nonsense but, in a good way. She takes her job very seriously. She loves what she does and she’s passionate about it.” The employee said Burdo is known for treating every person who comes into their shelter fairly and equally.
Nicholas Williams, a future adopter, said that Burdo had no problem lending a helping hand while figuring out if animal adoption was right for him.
“A lot of my questions seemed obvious and kind of stupid but she was really kind and told me what I needed to hear. It was clear she gets asked the same things probably every day but she still answered with a smile,” Williams said.
“Whether it is a person who can’t care for their pets and need a non-judgmental helping hand, a person who is a potential applicant, a person who is a potential donor, or a person who is looking for help with the over cat population, we treat everyone with respect and kindness. We, humans, are the animal’s voice. It is imperative that we can communicate, educate, and help everyone that we can,” Burdo said.
Burdo’s courtesy goes farther than with just animals. She is always there when her customers, family, or employees are in need. Burdo’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers and Dementia early in her life. She was her mother’s full time caregiver and started working at the shelter to get a bit of a break and distraction.
“My mother, a nurse by trade, had taught all five of her children to be caregivers. It was almost a seamless transition to become a full time employee when she passed and to implement her teachings in dealing with both our two and four legged clients,” Burdo said.
Burdo has also helped many of her coworkers throughout her time at the shelter. She allows many volunteers to join the team for experience or to complete community service.
Miller said that her and her husband spent 11 months remodeling the shelter so they could relocate to their old home. After this, Burdo took over and made sure that the place looked just as good as when they remodeled.
Burdo tries to connect and grow with her surroundings. She believes the relationships that matter most while trying to make a difference in life are the people that share our environment.
“I love the light that comes into a person’s eyes when they have met the right pet for them. I love that moment when an abused animal realizes that they are safe with us and you can see them relax. I love watching the animals heal both physically and mentally under our care,” said Burdo.
Burdo acknowledges that running a non-profit animal shelter can be hard. She stated that seeing how much being loved by an animal and an animal loving people can change lives for the better, makes it that much easier to do what she does every day.