I recently got admitted into San Diego Humane Society’s Volunteer Program and I couldn’t be more THRILLED! I’ve been eager and overdue for this for a while so I’m excited my schedule is finally allows me to make a difference. Donating money, just as Barking Beast has done for San Diego shelters throughout the years courtesy of the Barking Beast Runway Show & Chargers Huddle Up to Cuddle Up, ensures animals have food, shelter and health assistance. Donating TIME, also goes a long way toward facilitating a loving environment for animals, further aligning them to find forever homes. I chose work with the SDHS because of their history in supporting and promoting my blog throughout their digital platforms and community events.
Anyone who knows me, knows my love for animals runs deeper than holes dug up by my dog Jack when chasing down a squirrel. And those are extremely deep! I became a volunteer hoping this love will translate into productivity in helping a shelter(s) meet it’s goals while also lifting spirits for the animals.
I knew volunteering would be rewarding because of the resourcefulness it brings to the animal rescue staff along with the benefits for the pets. What I was not ready for was the emotional toll it took seeing these animals kennels, especially the canines. It got me thinking of all the dogs at the park I see everyday and how much I wanted each and every ones of those dogs to experience that euphoria as soon as possible. I did not plan to cry like a school girl within the first few hours of my first volunteer shift, but I did. It was hard for me to not be affected seeing dogs barking, crying, weeping for attention with every kennel I passed while others had given up on crying for attention- they’re just rolled up in the corner with their head down, hoping, praying someone will unlock their kennel and take them for a walk, better yet take them home.
Fortunately it didn’t take me long to recognize that as heartbreaking as it is seeing these animals locked up in kennels, they are truly safer here, than on the streets or tied up to a tree by a neglagent owner. These were words shared with me by Tamara one of the veteran handlers at the SDHS Escondido branch as she calmed me down from the agony. I don’t mind the early morning routines, cleaning laundry, picking up diarrhea and feces, cleaning up vomit and disinfecting kennels, even administration clerical work, those tasks are a breeze… it’s the looks you get from within the eyes of each shelter animal that evokes a feeling so strong, you’ll never forget the importance of volunteering and helping get these animals adopted.
One thing I have to remind myself every time I volunteer is to not be impulsive and adopt a dog because of the heartache it is seeing them locked in kennels. This, currently, would not be a good idea because I’m not in a place for a second dog. Not to say I’m not interested in a second dog, because I definitely am, just not currently this spring. I am however, applying to become a foster parent for shelter dogs so stay tuned on the pups I bring home, because who knows by summer I may just end adopting.
Each and every day, thousands of animals are admitted into shelters across the country. Many picked up off the streets or abandoned by owners who simple don’t care anymore. These animals are looking for any beam of hope that will help them find a better life. My intent with every volunteer visit is to be that HOPE for them. By taking the time to volunteer and spend time with the animals, wether its helping clean, feed, walk and photograph them for social media exposure, I’m certain we can ALL be the shinning light they need to find a home. We can help rehabilitate these commonly “broken and neglected” animals to be the best version of themselves, getting them significant steps closer to becoming a great fit for a family or single owner and getting adopted. I hope to be resourceful member of the volunteer team and bring value to the shelters efforts.
I’m looking forward to the personal growth benefits that will come from this charity. It’s a honor to volunteer alongside such caring people, all working toward a common goal. ALSO- it’s no secret spending time with animals has numerous HEALTH benefits too. Petting and caring for animals relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. Walking and playing with dogs keeps obesity at bay and bonding with an animal certainly curbs loneliness while also giving life a deeper sense of purpose. If you’re an animal person but unable to have a pet at home, I HIGHLY encourage you VOLUNTEER at a shelter and reap the benefits of bonding with rescue pets. And if you’re not an “animal’ person, then well, you should probably get that checked out… but a doctor or sort 😉
There are over a dozen San Diego animal rescue groups and shelters looking for volunteers. Go experience for yourself the fufilment that comes from helping out at a local animal shelter and become a volunteer. Even if it’s for a couple hours one day one day a week, it makes ALL the difference and I PROMISE it WILL be worth your while. Who know’s, maybe you’ll find your next fur-baby?
Here are some pictures from my most recent volunteer shift doing kennel cleaning and canine morning feeding! Woof!