Our Valiant Volunteers!
by Lee Chambers
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
– Elizabeth Andrew
In honor of National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 7-13, we asked Dakin staff members why they appreciate our many incredible volunteers. Here are some responses:
“They are a huge part of what makes our days manageable. I look forward to seeing our greeters every day not only because they are the eyes and ears at the front door but because they bring laughter and smiles to the adoption counselors. We also couldn't help nearly as many animals without them. They exercise dogs, care for tiny kittens, clean dirty litter boxes and cat carriers, do lots of laundry and dirty dishes, and care for the little critters like rabbits, rats and hamsters. They are part of the team and help us help animals and people every day!”
“I strongly value our volunteers' willingness to say YES. So much is asked of them and their faith in us and their love of animals never wavers. Countless success stories have been the direct result of the dedication and perseverance of our volunteers.”
"I can't imagine doing what I do without volunteers - who would walk the dogs while I clean kennels, or bring in delicious snacks that ease the stress of a long day? Honestly, they make my job easier, and just as important, they make my job fun. So many of the volunteers here are my friends, and my coworkers, and they are just phenomenal."
“Our foster parents are some of our best animal advocates and valuable volunteers. Not only do they give animals a stress-free and cozy place to live while they undergo treatment but they also provide them with individualized care and monitoring. We would not be able to do what we do in the veterinary department without the ongoing support of our wonderful, skilled foster team.”
-Mary Jane McGuire
“Volunteers allow us to see our jobs through a different set of eyes. When a volunteer walks into surgery and says “that’s awesome!” it reminds you that what we’re doing is pretty special!”
“We hold three big annual events each year, and we consistently have guests tell us how friendly and helpful the volunteers working the events are. There's no way we could host these events without our volunteers, and even if it we could, it would be way less fun without them! They keep everything running smoothly, and they do it all with a smile.”
“Everyone is so amazing. From the morning cat care volunteers taking on extra tasks and helping to care for not just the cats but also the smalls…to the amazing Jody spending her entire Saturday with us to clean, feed, coordinate “Bark in the Park” or extended dog walks. I love our volunteers. They are a joy to work with, and we couldn't truly care for all our animals without them.”
“Our spay/neuter clinic has great volunteers like Jen, who files our paperwork and makes sure it's all put away. Plus, she gives me the best music recommendations. Ann is a phone volunteer who gets messages to us, and ensures people get help before scary situations turn into full-blown emergencies. There have been days when I've been down and one nice thing from a volunteer has turned my day around. They're big-hearted people with a lot of love to go around and share.”
-Yusef-Hamza X Flores
“Volunteers are amazing people. There are so many jobs they do that are tough, decidedly unglamorous or sometimes emotionally stressful, but their dedication to animals is what carries them through and keeps them coming back. They always give me a great sense of support. We literally couldn’t do what we do without them, each and every day. They are inspirational.”
“Volunteers in our kitten nursery are the reason we are able to treat and save so many sick kittens each year! Without their help, we would not be able to continue the nursery. Dog-walking volunteers not only help alleviate the amount of work the staff has each day, but they give dogs time out of their kennels to exercise, get love, relax, and enjoy some quiet time. Our cat cleaning/feeding volunteers care for the many cats here at Dakin. Without their help the staff would not be able to give high quality care and make sure that animals are getting the individual treatment they deserve.”
“Dakin's volunteers are our behind the scenes powerhouse and we are SO lucky to have them. They show up every week with smiles and enthusiasm to clean up poop, walk dogs in the rain, scrub litter boxes, do laundry - you name it! And on top of that, they cover for each other - we have cat care volunteers who double trained so they can help out with small animal care if that volunteer couldn't make it. Dog-walking volunteers stay longer to clean cat carriers and fold blankets. Not to mention all our fabulous enrichment volunteers! They are all rock stars and we will never be able to thank them enough!”
“Volunteers make it possible to run a shelter that is innovative and effective. Volunteer time comes from the heart, mind and soul.”
“Liz, our Saturday greeter, is always bringing the adoption counselors snacks to keep us nice and fueled for the day. She handles lots of tasks, like pricing thrift store items. Dale is always in a joyful mood during her greeter shift, making her fun to work with and talk to. Jody spends her Saturdays here volunteering with the dogs and is always willing to take on any task that's thrown her way - like moving a dog to the adoption floor mid-day. Nick, who works with small animals, always has a great attitude and is always willing to help with any task including fostering baby animals that need extra care, and Paige, a foster caregiver, is always willing to take on an extra kitten (even if she already has a litter) and goes the extra mile to make sure her fosters are getting the best possible care.”
“Our admin/development volunteers rock because of their careful work, attention to detail, and great attitudes!”
“We have many felines that come through our doors. Some need more help than others. Our cat enrichment volunteers work with the scared, sick and most at-risk felines in our care. They help to reduce their stress, they make sure they aren't losing weight and they try and help their stay here be as stress-free as possible. They are some of the most compassionate and hard-working folks I know...thank YOU for all you do for Dakin and the kitties we care for!”
Take a look at the photo gallery below to see several Dakin volunteers (and some Dakin staff) mingling and having fun!