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Q: how important is volunteering and donations to a shelter?

April 8, 2008 | By alex c. | 4 answers | Expired: 2319 days ago

alex c.

tell me your thoughts! im writting a perswasive essay (that will also act as a proposal) about the importance of private work in shelters along with public donations. Do you know of any shleters that act off of government stipens? if so, which ones?
for anyone who vollenteers or works at a shelter, please, tell me what you do as a part of the shelter and what the donations do to help both the facility and the animals. tell me anytihng and everything that i can use as evidence to show how important a community is to a shelter running well!
i would also love anyone whos gone through the adoption process with shelters to tell me how the expirience changed your views on the car that shelters give. I know that many shelters that are under staffed and underfunded often dont have the luxuries of cleaner areas or upscale treatment. tell me about the shelter you got the animal from. tell me how much you love animals!
please, dont spare bad expiriences either, i want the full gamut!
i plan on using all this info to write a graphic novel eventually as well as the thesis in hopes of raising both the awareness of the need for help in shelters and animals rights but also to try and convince my local legislation to use a small percent of tax dollars to help shelters or even a one time donation to help animals in need.

Readers' Answers (4)
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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Apr 12, 2008

I foster kittens for a county run animal control facility. If foster homes are not found for kittens that are sick or too young to be adopted they are euthanized. I have fostered about 30 kittens and 2 mommas. I had a group of 7 that broke out with mange, 2 with distemper that had to be put down, and 3 that died from respiratory infections. In each case I had the option of caring for them until they were healthy or let the vet euthanize. Obviously I chose the first option, not being able to save each one despite giving the best care I could was a hard lesson to learn. It can be hard work but the results are worth it for the ones that are saved. You can't help but fall in love with everyone of them, so it's hard letting them go to be adopted. I ended up adopting 2 of the kittens and still have 2 that were deemed unadoptable. The downside is that I learned much more about the inner working of the shelter than I needed to know. Everyday healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized due to lack of space. I've seen people turn in their pets thinking they would be adopted out but were put down instead. Every time I see someone dropping off the family pet, I want to tell them what will probably really happen.

I also volunteer at a no-kill shelter. I help transport cats to adoption events when I can. My favorite thing is to go to the shelter and help socialize the cats, I just hang out and play or comb them and trim their claws in an effort to make them less fearful of strangers. One friend organizes yard sales and donates all the proceeds to the shelter. Several others collect donations of food to feed the feral cat populations throughout the county.

The most important thing for people to realize about volunteering is that it doesn't really take a lot of time or money. Spending an hour walking a dog or socializing cats is more rewarding than you would think. Shelters always need donations of cleaning supplies, food, toys, collars and leashes. A lot of things people throw away could be used by a shelter, like old towels and bedding, toys their pets won't play with anymore.

Good luck

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Audrey T.
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Apr 09, 2008

My parents adopted a dog from the local humane society. I have been there several times and it seems crowded and like there are not enough people to pay attention to everyone though I must say that it is clean.
I don't have the experience of the other answers but I do have another experience to share.
We raise exotics and have adopted stray emu (yes, it's true, stray emus) as well as pottbelly pigs who misbehave. These animals often do not have a rescue or shelter that would take them and some are put down early in their life because of no other option. Funding no matter how small can make the difference in the life of an animal that is just being an animal. I believe that if funding was available there may be other places that have a chance to open and care for all animals that need it, not just house pets.

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Danewillow
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Apr 09, 2008

My volunteer experience: I worked as a bather. Most dogs at the shelters are black dogs. A dirty black dog doesn't get adopted. They're dull looking. My favorite bathing experience was a little chow/lab mix. She was super shy and actually did some fear nipping when I started on her. She was the shaggiest looking mutt I've ever seen! The shelter I was at didn't have blowers which make it easier to get rid of loose hair on a dog so I brushed and brushed and brushed... She started to love the attention! Then I bathed her and brushed some more. She was the cutest little dog and in that short time had learned that humans weren't all that scary. The next week I went in to bathe dogs again she wasn't there. I checked the adoption list and she had been adopted the day after I bathed her! That was the best feeling ever! All of the supplies I used for bathing the dogs were donations. Most of the people you see when you go to the shelters are volunteers.

My adopting experiences: We've adopted 1 dog, 3 cats, 7 ferrets, 2 guinea pigs, and a hamster from various local shelters. The dog we got from the no-kill shelter became aggressive. One ferret never did well from the time we got her and we had to put her to sleep a few months later. Otherwise, the pets we've adopted from the shelters have been great pets. My first shelter pet, a cat named Lizzie, I've had for 14 years. The people working at the shelters have been great. Some haven't known much about exotics because they don't get a lot of them there. Most ferrets in shelters (not ferret rescues) are fed Cat Chow which isn't the greatest. When I was bathing dogs they wouldn't let me bathe the ferrets because they might be afraid of the dog smell in the room and bite me. They really didn't know ferrets....

I think most shelters run off of adoption fees and donations. Everyone benefits from them. They take in animals for any reason. The humane societies here ask for a donation if you're dropping off an animal ($25) but you don't even have to pay it. They work to keep the stray animals off the streets and animals that are adopted out are either neutered or required to be neutered which helps with the overpopulation problem. They really need more help. Employees aren't paid well and have a tough job and volunteer coverage is spotty (I went when I could and had to quit when we moved). When you get a pet at the humane societies here, it's had a health check, vaccinations, usually neutered, and parasite treatment.

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Jamiefrogger
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Apr 09, 2008

I recently volunteered at an animal shelter with a group of people I work with. We went to volunteer our services for the day. They were so appreciative they fed us breakfast and lunch as a thank you. We started the day off with a tour of the facilities. This shelter doesn't turn any animals away so there were hundreds of cats and dogs. We split off into groups covering different areas of the shelter. We started work the same way the normal workers would by cleaning the cages and feeding all of the animals. With a group of about ten people we got the normal work done in less than half the time it normally takes them. The facility had recently had an epidemic of ring worm in all of their animals so it had been shut down as they were nursing all of the animals back to health. Because of that the normal cleaning routin became much stricter. We breaked for lunch then the girls started painting the cement walls of the puppy hotel and the boys cleared and loaded trash for the outside grounds. I was talking to one of the regular weekend volunteers as we worked and she mentioned that half of the work around the shelter wouldn't get done if it wasn't for the volunteers that came and helped. It was great to see such caring people taking care of the animals.

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