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Abriendo Puertas a los Refugios de Animales

If you can’t decipher that headline, consider the challenges your community’s Spanish speakers face when they try to read your signs, fill out your paperwork, and communicate with your front-desk staff. It’s so challenging, in fact, that many don’t even come to the shelter at all. And that’s a shame, especially during a time when the United States is home to one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in the world. But you don’t have to speak Spanish yourself to learn how to extend your outreach programs to the Latino community. Read on to find out how others have started “opening doors to animal shelters.”

If you can’t decipher that headline, consider the challenges your community’s Spanish speakers face when they try to read your signs, fill out your paperwork, and communicate with your front-desk staff. It’s so challenging, in fact, that many don’t even come to the shelter at all. And that’s a shame, especially during a time when the United States is home to one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in the world. But you don’t have to speak Spanish yourself to learn how to extend your outreach programs to the Latino community. Read on to find out how others have started “opening doors to animal shelters.”

Translation: What would you do if I kissed you right now?
When the staff of the SPCA Tampa Bay rescued Tramp during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, her kidneys were failing and her prognosis was grave. Director of Operations Connie Brooks and her colleagues feared the little terrier mix with the huge ears would die.

A few weeks spent in the loving care of shelter workers breathed new life into Tramp as her kidney function slowly returned. But one problem remained: the dog from Miami was in low spirits, almost unresponsive. A fixture at the shelter by that point, she would run down the hall with her ears pinned back against her head—“sort of fearful,” says Brooks. Whenever anyone tried to speak to her, she’d stare and tilt her head in a way that seemed to ask, “What in the world are you saying, and why are you saying it to me?”

Brooks and her colleagues concluded that Tramp was deaf, and Tramp did little dispel that notion—that is, until the morning that Brooks saw her walking up the kennel and called out absentmindedly, “¿Oye, cómo estás?”

Suddenly, Tramp was all ears. “I will never forget that day,” says Brooks. “She just turned around and her ears went up.”

 Read the full article.

 

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