Adopt-A-Pet Volunteers - Devotion to dogs
A typical walk often passes by a running stream that occasionally has salmon swimming in it.
After my first article about Adopt-A-Pet, I kept wondering what it was like to work there as a volunteer. I had already met a lot of the staff at the front office, but I was interested in learning more about the people who actually work with the dogs.
All dogs' kennels have signs stating the particulars of each dog. This way, you know at a glance if this dog might fit in with your specific situation.
The dogs' care is tracked by both whiteboards posted on walls around the facility and paper logs on clipboards. Dogs are walked between 1 and 3 times a day each, depending on their conditions and the weather, and walks are tracked to ensure everybody gets walked.
Meds and dietary supplements are tracked an logged. I learned that often skin conditions are aggravated by dog foods containing grain, so grain free foods are provided for dogs with skin or coat problems.
Bedding, food and water bowls are regularly washed and the kennels are of course cleaned daily.
Hannah is the volunteer coordinator and she is a lively, upbeat young lady with a strong love for the dogs as individuals. Although she is usually as cheery as May sunshine, I did note her eyes welling up with tears up at the thought of a couple of the older dogs passing on - crossing the "Rainbow Bridge" in dog lover parlance.
Among Hannah's duties are scheduling volunteers, signing up volunteers and taking care of the paperwork and background checks involved, doing orientations for new volunteers, directing volunteers' activities while they're on-site, and filling in on various volunteer duties whenever there is a need. If this were a paying job, I'd have hard time placing a sufficient dollar value on the work Hannah and the other volunteers do.
The three play yards need mowed regularly, in this case by John Henson.
I also spent some time with Helena, whose love and compassion for dogs and people shows through in her every day life. She comes in EVERY morning at about 6am to dispense individual medications and dietary supplements. She also walks dogs and performs any other pressing tasks to be done, before leaving to go to her paying job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, where she uses her knowledge of pet care to help people better understand how best to care for their particular animal.
It happened that the day I was permitted to "shadow" Helena was her "day off" from the clinic. So strong is her love for her charges that she often spends her days off walking, sitting with, or just generally in the company of dogs who need some love.
I never got to spend much time with Di,the kennel manager, who impressed me as a sort of Mother Superior meets roller derby jammer, but she is the final authority when it comes to care, medication and feeding of the animals. She too is at the kennels 7 days a week, but that does not diminish the devotion to the dogs. She may often be seen walking dogs herself. I was able to get the following quote, "My favorite aspect of being Kennel Manager is Intake. I am responsible to bring in new dogs with owner releases, and I also work with the MACO (Mason County) Sheriff Officer Cindy, and City of Shelton Dog Pound Officer Jimmy. I absolutely love what I do for the dogs!"
I wanted to tell the story of these volunteers in hopes that knowing about these people who are easing the suffering of animals, and bringing companionship and joy to humans, will inspire you to support their work, and maybe make you feel a bit better knowing we have such sensitive and caring people in our community.
As I sign off, I wanted to acknowledge the contributions of area businesses who support Adopt-A-Pet:
These four veterinary facilities accept Adopt-A-Pet spay/neuter, emergency medical vouchers in the area:
Shelton Vet and Steamboat Vet provide discounts on all services.
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