Donating Pet Supplies to Edmonton Humane Society

I knew that Edmonton Humane Society was a pet shelter that accepted stray animals in, but I wasn’t sure whether they would also accept donations in form of pet supplies. The only way to find out was to get in touch with them so I called and was told by surprised lady on the other end that they absolutely accepted merchandise donations but they never get anything because people automatically assume that all they accept are live animals. I was told that they would much appreciate any of the items I had mentioned because they were in dire need for fish tanks and always short of cat food.

I had most of my stuff stored at Dave’s and only had one more load to take on Thursday evening. I thought of combining it with a drop off of pet supplies since office of Edmonton Humane Society was on the way to Dave’s. Since I only had a few more items I needed take to Dave’s, most of my car was available for fish tanks and other pet supplies and I had no problem fitting it in. The only challenging thing was one of the fish tanks – it rather large and heavy so it was extremely difficult for one guy to move it out of the apartment and fit it in the car. Despite of all the difficulties, I’ve gone through the struggle and somehow got it all done without help the previous night. I was gonna drive in a car to work and take off immediately after so I get to the Edmonton Humane Society before they close at 5pm and then I’d have the rest of the evening to drop the rest of the stuff at Dave’s.

The day after my intended drop off was the day I had to return my rented car so I wouldn’t be able to get anything done. I had to be at work until 4pm and car had to be back at Hertz by 5pm otherwise I’d get charged for an extra day. Given crazy traffic that hits Edmonton at rush hour (4pm), not only would I not be able to do anything with my rented car on my last day, I would actually have to rush it to make sure I get all the way downtown by 5pm to avoid extra charges. It was gonna be tight, but I have previously done some overtimes so I had hoped my supervisor would let me leave 15 minutes early to get to Hertz before 5pm.

But this wasn’t until the day after. Today I still had one last drop off to do. First at Edmonton Humane Society where I was going to donate all of my pet supplies and then the rest of my items at Dave’s. I left work exactly at 4pm to make sure I get all the way to 50 Street and Yellowhead Trail where Edmonton Humane Society was located by 5pm so I don’t miss people at the shelter with whom I made arrangements anticipate me. I drove swiftly but roads were congested so it took a while. I got to 50 Street just minutes before 5pm and pulled over by the door only to find it shut locked with a sign on it that Edmonton Humane Society had moved.

Their new location was at the opposite end of town. It would take me an hour to get there from where I was. They must have moved just recently as I have been at their original location only a few months prior. I could not believe the lady I spoke with about donations on the phone has never hinted me that they were at a new location to make sure I don’t needlessly drive to the wrong spot which is too far away.

Needless to say, I would never make it to their new location from where I was before everybody is gone. Giving it a try never the less was making no sense especially since by the sound of it, it would take a while to find it (that area isn’t very easy to navigate through). Plus I had Dave expecting me with my last load and I really needed to get to him before it’s too late so I don’t needlessly keep him up.

I was in a pretty tight spot there. I struggled the night before to get all of the pet supplies, including that giant fish tank into the car all by myself. Now it looked like I was gonna have to get it out of the car all by myself because the following day I had to return the car right after work which wouldn’t give me enough time to drop the items off. I was definitely not happy that I wasn’t hinted about shelter’s new location. Afterall, I was doing them a favor – I was intending to donate, give them some of my possessions for free and cover the cost of driving to get it all to their location. Was it really that hard to let me know that they had just moved so I don’t drive to their old location which puts me at the opposite end of the city?

The premise of removing that massive fish tank from the car was not very appealing, but there was no chance I would make it to their new location from work and still make it to Hertz by 5pm. But I was having hard time simply dumping all the hassle I went through when I moved that fish tank into the car all by myself in the first place. Seeing how all that struggle would have been in vain if I gave up on donating was not an easy thing to accept. So I’ve decided to keep it in the car and see if I can pull off some magic.

I drove to work on Friday, my last day at work before the departure to Siem Reap with all of the pet supplies still in my car. It was a beautiful summer day. I spent my day at work committed to my duties but had asked my supervisor if he would dismiss me an hour early stating that I had an urgent matter to attend to. I have never asked for early dismissal before but have gladly stayed longer when we needed to catch up with things so I didn’t expect it to be an issue and in fact it wasn’t. I was allowed to leave early which gave me hope that I would eventually put my pet supplies to good use instead of just dumping them.

I phoned the Humane Society during the day explaining why they never saw me come the day before as I had promised and insisted that I was gonna give it one last try but they better be expecting me so unloading goes quickly because I had to rush from there through heavy traffic to get to Hertz downtown before 5pm. I was promised that someone would wait for me but as it goes with larger operations, it wasn’t the case.

I got to the new Edmonton Humane Society location, quickly walked in and told the receptionist who I was believing she would be aware of me and have staff ready to move the items from my car. She had no damn clue so I asked to point me at the office of a lady I spoke with over the phone but she wasn’t there. I started walking around aimlessly, desperately trying to find someone who would know what needs to be done but since there was no one and I was running out of time, I simply told the receptionist that I was gonna take the items I am meaning to donate and leave them right there on the street for them to pick up when they get a chance. When lady who spoke with me over the phone shows up, she can then take care of it but I needed to act.

This was overheard by an elderly gentleman who was sitting nearby. He followed me outside and offered a helping hand which was great because that big fish tank was a difficult task for one person to handle, but not a big deal for two. We moved everything out of the car and just as we were done, the lady I spoke with over the phone walked up to greet me. I told her I needed to go but all of the items I wished to donate were right there on the street so they could do whatever they wanted with it.

I sat in a car and only just about made it to Hertz in time. Luckily Hertz is a professional company that deals with their clients on a professional level so the return of my weekly rental went smoothly and without headache. This has concluded my necessary preparations for the big trip. I only needed to pack up and be ready to board a plane on Monday. However I still had my bicycle which was too big to fit in a Toyota Corolla but since days were beautiful (whole summer of 2009 was beautiful in Alberta), I had no fears. I knew I could easily ride to Dave’s on Saturday and catch a bus back home for my last two days in Edmonton.

My Pets – Scorpions and Cats

Among the things I still had left even after major dumping and donation were assorted pet supplies. I was a passionate scorpion owner and breeder – one of few in the world who had a privilege of having a lady scorpion give birth in captivity. Very little is known about scorpions because few scientists study these majestic animals. As such, all you learn about raising scorpions in captivity is from other scorpion owners and after years of success nurtured by unconditional love for my favourite animals, I have become a world renowned authority in scorpion keeping and breeding.

I had a bunch of fish tanks I used to keep my pet scorpions in – one of which was of mighty size. I had several heaters, specialty bulbs, bedding, hideouts made of stones and equipment for breeding crickets and silk warms which were the staple of my scorpions’ diet. I was a responsible and respective scorpion owner but no matter how hard I tried, the lifespan of scorpions in captivity was never the same as in the wild.

Photo: Lady Scorpion, Leader of the Pack of Emperors Carries Scorpion Babies on her Back After Giving Birth
Photo: Lady Scorpion, Leader of the Pack of Emperors Carries Scorpion Babies on her Back After Giving Birth

In order to be a good scorpion owner one has to be fascinated by these animals. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures that spend most of their days in hideouts. They will not come running towards you when you come back home from work wiggling their tails. If you expect that, then scorpions are not for you. It takes a great deal of respect and patience to be a good scorpion owner but once you succeed to make your scorpions comfortable, you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular shows imaginable. The mating ritual is a dance that lasts for about half an hour and is the most breathtaking scene I have ever seen in my life. It took place in the middle of the night and I have respected my roommates enough not to disturb their mating with camera flashes so I never took pictures. Instead I just sat nearby savoring the spectacle.

I consider scorpions to be the most amazing animals in existence. They have 8 legs, 2 large pincers they use as weapons and 2 small ones on their head they use to grind food with, a venomous stinger and two wings at the bottom of their bellies with which they pick up vibrations for navigation and location of food. They are so well equipped that imagining they used to be one meter in size during prehistoric times gives me shivers. That would have been one formidable predator you wouldn’t want after you.

Aside from my undying fascination with scorpions, I’m also a cat person. I had a cat I named Shadow whom I tamed. She was a wild cat who survived all on her own through tough Alberta winters. I have eventually become friends with her and she was my partner in everything. She was the most loyal creature on Earth and most beautiful at that.

Photo: Being a Wild Cat, Shadow was an Excellent Hunter Who Always Brought Her Prey Home to Show What She Caught
Photo: Being a Wild Cat, Shadow was an Excellent Hunter Who Always Brought Her Prey Home to Show What She Caught

After all of my scorpions moved on to the scorpion heaven, I’ve come to realize that Shadow deserved a better life than living in stress my frequent moving put her through. I went on to take one of the most devastating moves in my life when I said Good Bye to my best friend. I did it because I sincerely believed Shadow had suffered enough when she was all on her own without anyone providing for her and giving her love during brutal Alberta winters. I took my beloved cat to the Edmonton Humane Society and have never seen her since. I think of her all the time and pray that she ended up with an amazing family who loved her as much as I did.

When all was said and done, I was left with lots of cat care pet supplies, including unused cat food and cat litter mixture, cat toys and tools you’d use to look after your kitty. I thought the easiest way of getting rid of all those would be to dump them in garbage bins but these were all usable pet care items someone might put to good use so I’ve picked up a telephone and called Edmonton Humane Society again.