In many aspects of shelter operation, we would not be where we are without our volunteers. Our staff members are very thankful for the active roles our volunteers take in caring for the animals in the shelter. I thought it would be nice to showcase some of the many volunteers and what they do here that better improves the mission we all have; save as many lives as we can!
This is Dorothy Miller, and she volunteers in the Cat area. She does socializing, which is visiting with the cats, but she also does Cat to Cat featured in the picture above. Cat to Cat is where we introduce a cat to another cat to better understand if they could be in a home and co-exist together. In this picture, Jon and Bertram seem to be doing well, and they did get that coveted “Yes.” For us, we don’t need cats to love each other, but tolerating one another or just sitting in the same room can make a difference, and it increases their chances of being adopted.
These guys didn’t really interact that much, but they had a relaxed body language, and no hissing or growling. They did great, and here is a little snippet to showcase the process.
Dorothy works directly with other C2C volunteers and our Feline Care Manager to write down their interactions and experiences they have with their test kitties. She also is an avid waif watcher. Waif watching is for our Waifs that have been here more than thirty days, and need that extra exposure to showcase how wonderful they are. Currently, Dorothy’s waif is Ringo, a spunky former Beatles member who is looking for a home!
The Waif Watchers can decorate their kennel however they like, as long as it doesn’t block the actual animal. Ringo is assisting Dorothy in product placement, as he likes his things neat and tidy. But he loves his snuggles too! We are appreciative of you Dorothy, keep being fabulous!
Next, we have Sam Grimes. She is also a very dedicated volunteer who works with our dogs. She does a little bit of everything, between walking dogs, working with our shy and fearful dogs, bathing, and fostering. She is the Confidence College Volunteer Lead, and if you have a question about one of our shy dogs, she will most likely know the answer. Recently, she told me about Bob, a CC dog who is currently in foster now. Him and his siblings were transferred here, and had little leash skills. He was more shy than the others, so he was placed on Sam’s team. Here she is trying to get him to go on a walk.
He is a very sweet boy, he is just a bit unsure of the shelter environment. She told me he hasn’t been outside for a walk yet, just inside. She tries with him everyday and it just so happened that the day I shadowed her was his big day! I captured his first moments outside on a leash, and he was a brave boy. You can watch it here.
Sam and her team log in a binder about their interactions with the CC dogs so they all can be on the same page. It’s a really good program that helps many Waifs find their forever home! Sam also enjoys bathing the dogs that really need it, or grooming them. She was assisted by Dianne Siegal, another fellow dog volunteer.
Here they are giving Roxy a bath, who decided to pose a little bit for the camera. It helps to have two people at least because sometimes the dogs are less than cooperative. But they feel good and smell good after, so they get over it pretty quick! They also get a complimentary bandana for being a good sport, and here is Oreo picking his out!
A big shoutout to Sam and Dianne, you guys are so wonderful and we appreciate you!
Last, but certainly not least, is Debbie Brock, who is another dog volunteer. She is trained to do meet and greets, Dog to Dogs, she walks dogs, and she also teaches classes to new volunteers. We offer classes so people can become even more involved in our shelter, and Debbie is a great example of a wonderful teacher. She teaches the Volunteer Orientation class and the Dog 101 class, giving new volunteers an insight to Wayside and the dog area. Here she is teaching a class!
Debbie also helps out with our Canine Care Technicians if we are short or if we have a lot of dogs to care for. I’ve seen her teach a few classes, and she knows her stuff, and she is very pleasant! She loves answering any questions you have, and she continues to help new volunteers on their first or second shift as well. We have a stuffed animal that new volunteers can practice harnessing a dog on, and it’s very helpful!
It is nice to practice on a “calm dog” first, because some of our high energy dogs will give you a run for your money trying to put that harness on! But it makes for a really good walk as they can’t pull and the harness works against their chest which helps for a smoother trip. Thank you for the pictures Debbie, and thanks for all that you do!
These are just four of the thousand+ volunteers we have for Wayside Waifs. We are incredibly grateful of the work and care they provide for our organization. Thank you for your kindness and the waifs appreciate it as well. If you would like to volunteer with us, please visit our website here.
Please visit our waifs during our adoption hours!
Written by Teryn