Snapshots of a Dakin Day

by Lee Chambers

Dakin closed its doors in Springfield and Leverett to the visiting public and our volunteers in mid-March to follow social distancing safety guidelines during the pandemic. Our staff stepped right up to the challenge of tackling the many tasks that were being carried out by our invaluable volunteers (we miss you!) while handling their own job duties. Take a look at them in action.

The animals pictured here have all gone into adopted homes, but you can see who we've got available here.  We hope you enjoy these snapshots of a Dakin day at our Springfield Adoption Center:

The start of the day is the start of the cleaning! Animal Resource Counselor Betsy is shown by the dog feeding station cleaning dishes and bowls and loading the dishwasher. We've got 3 sinks there, and a LOT of cleanser!


Albert is making his rounds, cleaning and sanitizing the building. He's part of a two-man maintenance team that makes sure everything's running safely and smoothly.


It's a bunny's banquet! Leafy greens, carrots, and paper rolls jammed with hay. Best of all, some sweet petting to remind them that they're loved. It's a good day to be a rabbit, for sure.


Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech) Meg is giving a kitten some subcutaneous fluids to help rehydrate him. This is the vet tech room, where they conduct exams and treatments.


Animal Resource Counselors Sarah (foreground) and Madeline are checking and returning messages at two of the adoption work stations. Some conversations may only take a minute, others often take more time so we can let people know what our resources are and how we can help. Every caller is part of our community, and we're here for you.


Now it's the rats' turn to dine ! Some tasty food is being served up just for them. Did you know that when rats are happy they make a noise that actually sounds like laughter?


Another Dakin kitty being examined, this time by Vet Tech Esther. Our vet techs are an essential part of our team and, in conjunction with our veterinarians, can be counted on to pay close attention to our shelter animals to ensure their good health.


Walkies! A beautiful spring day is the best time to be outside, and Betsy is enjoying a walk with one of the pups. Even outside the building, our staff is wearing masks and following protocol to ensure safety.



In their spare time, Dakin volunteers hand-made over 200 cloth masks for staff to have. We were knocked out by how quickly our volunteers responded to our request for the masks, how well-made they were, and how truly creative (and adorable) they were. We saw LOTS of masks made of materials with animals all over them, which just impressed us that much more. Thanks so much!


Vet Tech Lori checks the Pet Food Aid Program pick-ups for that day. Our staff worked quickly to find the most efficient way to collect orders online in advance and implement a curbside pickup program that would keep everyone safe. Well done!


Animal Resource Counselor Patrick pays a visit to a cat staying in an office. In addition to food and water, our cats also need enrichment visits that combine affection and attention with tricks or games to keep their minds engaged and ward off boredom.


Speaking of which, Animal Resource Counselor Eliza is making the rounds and training cats using the Jackson Galaxy Cat Pro Positive method. This kitty has found the treat between Eliza's fingers and that's really all that matters to her right now.


Now THIS kitty, on the other hand, has nailed the High Five part of the training. That's Animal Resource Counselor Kate showing him how it's done!


Who's behind the wheel of the Sanitation Czar? That's Animal Resource Counselor Amanda. This cart is brought around the building multiple times a day to clean and sanitize high-traffic areas (especially door handles).


Adoption Center Manager Moon is also doing some sterilizing in our lobby. She's focusing on cleaning our clipboards and other common area shelter supplies.


Finally at day's end, Meg stops by to cuddle one of our cats before heading home.

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