Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
What's it like to be a shelter volunteer?
Debbie "walks" us through her day.
My Day As a Shelter Volunteer
By Debbie Cassettari, Lead Volunteer
Preview: There's a Lot of Walking Involved
Huey Needs a Home (ID#A051389)
I arrive at the shelter and get my locker key, check in, and get ready to walk some dogs. My first priority is to walk around the shelter and check out all the dogs. They are usually sitting near the door of their kennel looking for someone to take them out and give them some love. That's my favorite job! I talk to each of them as I walk by, and I note which dogs haven't been out the longest.
Neo Needs a Home
After I check out the dogs, I go to the first kennel and get ready to walk. On this particular day, my first dog out was Neo. He's a great shepherd mix, and he hadn't been out in a few days so he was raring to go! I put the harness on him and head out to the park behind the shelter. It is shady and cooler for walking. He, of course, pees, then walks around sniffing the grass and trees. After a nice walk, we head back to the shelter for dog number two.
Coco Found a Home
As I was putting away the second dog, one of the staff asked me to take out the dogs that were in the back area recuperating from surgery so their kennel could be cleaned. After my usual happy greeting, Coco and I were off. I tried to take it easy as she was still healing from her spay, but she had been cooped up for a while and was ready to go. More walking!
Cheyenne Found a Home
After the walk, a visitor asked me to find a kitten she was interested in. I checked with our desk staff who gave me the kennel number, and I took out the kitten for her to visit with. While I was doing that, another woman asked to see one of the dogs so I got the kitten and her prospective owner settled and got the dog out. I spent time with both people, and happily, the kitten got adopted.
Zeus Found a Home
After the "meet and greets", I went back to walking! Zeus was so happy to be out as you can see by his big smile.
Timmy Found a Home
After getting out a few more dogs, I spent time with two of our shy dogs. Holly came in from a hoarding situation and sits in the back of her kennel. I quietly sit with her, petting her, and she came to smell me. I leashed her and took her for a walk, which she loved. Timmy sits in his kennel in the corner where no one can see him. I sat next to him and just quietly talked and petted him. When I closed the kennel door upon leaving, he came to the door to smell my hand. A very successful day!
Odin Needs a Home
Volunteers are a vital part of our shelter. We walk dogs, spend time with the cats, help clean the shelter when needed (every kennel is cleaned every day), fold laundry (clean blankets/towels every day), clean food/water bowls, socialize the animals, and do "meet and greets" with prospective adopters. I love every minute I am there. Allowing the animals to have human interaction is vital to their well-being - and good for me, too.
We always need volunteers to do all sorts of things. If you have some time available and would like to volunteer, click on the image below to get more details and fill out an application. You will be glad you did - and so will our furry friends.
Thanks Debbie for sharing a typical day as a volunteer at the shelter.
We couldn't do it without you and all of our other dedicated
and wonderful volunteers who help in so many ways.