Having an operation can be scary, especially if you don’t know what’s happening to you or why. And waking up after anesthesia, all alone, feeling groggy and weird, can be terrifying. That’s why the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) shelter in Maryland has a unique way of comforting animals that have just come out of surgery.
Rather than leave their charges to wake up all by themselves in a kennel, vet techs Dennis Moses and Amanda Greenwell welcome them back with a slow dance. No, it’s not a waltz or rhumba. It’s more like rocking a baby — slow, and cradling the pups in their arms.
“I think it helps them to recover,” Moses told The Dodo. “And it helps us with relieving some stress from today’s work.”
Here’s a video showing Moses dancing with baby Meesha after surgery.
Baby Meesha was coming off her anesthesia and was a little scared because her body felt so weird. BARCS Surgical Assistant Dennis Moses took her out into the quiet hallway to comfort her. One of our awesome volunteers just happened to be walking by to capture this sweet moment. Thank you to Dennis and all the staff who work long, tireless hours in the background of our shelter—saving lives and loving the animals. (Turn on the sound, it will melt your heart!)
Posted by BARCS Animal Shelter on Thursday, February 25, 2016
Different animals coming to animal rescue organizations require different surgeries. Some come in injured and need the injury repaired. Others need spay or neuter surgery, to be more adoptable. Sometimes the animal is very young. Other times, they’re simply afraid.
“If you’ve ever had surgery, you wake up, and you’re not sure where you’re at,” Moses said in an earlier interview. “It’s a scary thing even for dogs and cats, especially being in the shelter and being that young.”
BARCS is the largest animal shelter in Maryland. They take in around 12,000 animals every year. In addition to spay and neuter services, they also take care of some 900 animals per year that have “extraordinary” medical needs. Some of these animals are victims of neglect. One cat, “Poppy,” came in with burns over 80 percent of her body. Another dog, “Oreo,” needs heart surgery.
According to Moses, the BARCS surgery team performs 25 to 30 surgeries every day. That’s a lot of frightened fur babies. And that’s a lot of dancing.
Cuddling Their Way to Health
It’s no secret that people crave, and need touch. “Cuddle Therapy” is a thing. It’s a lucrative thing, too. Professional cuddlers can earn $80 an hour. And from cat cafes to “puppy rooms,” people are quickly recognizing the therapeutic benefits of hugging a fuzzy animal.
But veterinarians around the world know that dogs and cats benefit from cuddling as well. In fact, one veterinary surgery in Ireland recently advertised a full-time position for a Cat Cuddler for their furry patients.
“Everyone needs to be shown some love,” said Moses. “Even for a few minutes.”
BARCS recently posted a video on their Facebook page, of their surgical techs dancing a pair of doggies awake.
Our Sunday surgery crew slow dancing with puppies waking up from anesthesia. We have the best team. ❤️
Posted by BARCS Animal Shelter on Monday, March 19, 2018
Everyone needs love. And, when they come out of surgery, just about everyone could use a cuddle, whether they have two legs or four. How lucky the animals are at BARCS, to have such loving carers.