Manatee No-Kill column: Volunteers, an army of compassion

January 29, 2013 

Our shelter is always filled with dogs and cats that have been lost, abandoned or just no longer wanted by their humans. Many of these impounded dogs and cats have special needs, and volunteers play a key role in assisting with their care.

Volunteers are big-hearted and sympathetic people. Helping the impounded dogs and cats can be a very rewarding experience, and assisting the staff at Animal Services is greatly appreciated. There are many ways for you to help the pets and meet some wonderful people, maybe even forming some lasting friendships. Most shelter volunteers share the same compassion for the pets, making our volunteers special people to us.

So, how can you help?

Volunteers are always needed to help with everything from normal shelter duties, caring for the impounded dogs and cats and even spreading the word to the public about how we are working toward a no-kill community. Volunteers do not need to have any experience, either. The only thing you need, and we know you have since you want to volunteer at the shelter, is a love for animals.

Dog walkers help by getting the dogs out of the kennel, giving them extra outdoor time. Walking dogs gives them much-needed exercise and helps reduce their stress.

While dog walkers are needed any time, volunteers are able to make their own schedule. Dog walkers work hard to give each dog some time outside. Even if the dogs aren't walked on a leash, we have a few play yards for some ball and toy playtime, which has a calming effect for the dogs.

Dog-walking and play-yard time gives the volunteers an opportunity to form bonds with the dogs, which helps them to be socialized, giving them a better chance for adoption to a forever home.

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