Volunteer Spotlight


“I love being an advocate for dogs, and I think some breeds are misunderstood, like pit bulls, bully breeds, Rottweilers and shepherds too. This is a team effort, and Dakin’s the lead, so I’m happy to back up their efforts,” says Dakin Volunteer Ann Hurlburt.

With a list of volunteer activities that include coordinating clients at the weekly Vaccine & Microchip Clinic, collecting donations and transporting “Snip Trip” patients (pets brought from Franklin County to Dakin’s Community Spay/Neuter Clinic in Springfield for surgery), it’s fostering that appeals the most to Ann. “It is very rewarding,” she states.  “If the animal is recovering from medical issues, they recover better in a home environment, plus I get to evaluate them more closely and provide information for a better adoption match.  I know what food and toys they like, and the adopter gets a clearer picture of that pet.”

Ann has assisted at Dakin since the Springfield Adoption & Education Center opened in 2009. As a former police lieutenant who also worked at East Springfield Veterinary Hospital, she has dealt with lots of different people, and has learned how to gently persuade them to let go of misinformation or ill-founded beliefs about animal care.  “I like working at the Vaccine & Microchip Clinic because it keeps me sharp,” Ann explains.  “There is an educational element, and sometimes people need to learn things like distemper shots are given in a series of three shots, you can’t stop at one.  Or that spaying a Chihuahua doesn’t hurt her.”  In addition to Dakin, she currently volunteers at Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center, as well as the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton. 

What brought Ann to Dakin? “I had a friend volunteering for the MSPCA when they were in this building, and she said it was fun to tend to the animals, so I joined in with her team.  Our ‘Thursday Night Group’ gelled,” Ann recalls.  “We worked flawlessly together, and the Friday morning crew was always glad to come in and see everything waiting for them.  We’re still friends today.”

 We at Dakin are thankful for Ann’s dedication, years of service and can-do spirit.  If you are interested in volunteering, please visit https://www.dakinhumane.org/volunteer-getting-started.html

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