I had the pleasure of volunteering with Brian the other day at Manatee County Animal Services. Like any other day, we took dogs out, group walked, gave lots of love to many of the shelter dogs. But this time I took a moment and watched him with one dog named Soran and it made me smile. It reminded me of a quote “ when you give of yourself, you find yourself.” He was full of love in what he was doing because it wasn’t about him, it was about the dogs. And there are many volunteers just like him…
When people hear I volunteer at an animal shelter, its pretty standard for the response to be, “ Oh, thats amazing that you do that, but I could never.” Asking why? They usually respond with the following:
“ Its just so sad, I would be depressed all the time”
“ I’d want to take them all home with me”
Just to let you know, I’ve never known a depressed animal shelter volunteer. The feelings you get when you volunteer are just amazing and joyful, nit near depressing. It is true that, eventually, most volunteers do end up adopting some special dog or cat ( maybe several ?!!) , but that’s a happy event, not sad!
So you want to know what is so great about Volunteering? You are instrumental in bringing joy, love and a sense of trust to every animal you play with, walk with and cuddle with, and most important you receive love and joy back from each one of them. I know lots of shelter volunteers that come in on
“ unscheduled” days because they want their spirits lifted or they know they will feel better after spending an hour or two with the dogs or cats. I know I do!
Volunteers are also dedicated to continually help exercise, socialize and spend time with the dogs. It is very rewarding when you seen extremely shy dog “ come around” and begin to greet people, take treats and pay with trust and joy. As a volunteer, you really make a difference everyday in these animals lives.
What is TRULY the best? It is when you happen to be at the shelter the same day you “favorite” dog or cat is adopted, walked out by their new owners and driven off to their FURR ever homes. Finnigan was one of those dogs. He was a volunteer favorite and quite the perfect dog! He loved all people, dogs and lots of hugs and kisses. The minute he saw you he wiggled his whole body! However, he was afraid of thunderstorms and most people do not understand that fear and what to do. Until one day, a wonderful family came in looking for a dog. They met Finn and fell in LOVE with him instantly. They also understood Finns anxiety , what to do and said they would LOVE him and help him through it because he is now a member of their family. Seeing, hearing and knowing that Finn is in his forever home filled with love, we couldn’t ask for anything more!!!
These are just SOME of the many reasons to volunteer at Manatee County Animal Services! Pay it forward - Become a volunteer and see how much goodness, love and joy you can bring to an animal in need…
Thank you and see you at MCAS!