Team Volunteer

August 2, 2012  

The author shares how volunteers can work together to create maximum benefit for shelter dogs

By Julie Stack

Stepping out onto the exercise field with a dog at Washington Humane Society is a thrilling moment because the dog knows he or she will be going for a walk or doing a training activity. After spending a few minutes watching the dog I have taken outside, I think about how great it would be if I could always count on a second volunteer to be there at the same time I volunteer, so we could do more to help the animals together.

Volunteering should be a team sport because it takes a lot of teamwork to provide the best experience for the dogs. Each volunteer must also be willing to do whatever is necessary to help the dogs, including exercising them and also providing care for the animals.

That’s why I want to encourage others to volunteer at the Washington Humane Society. Volunteering is not a game or sport, but it does require acting in unison and working together, and everyone must work hard to ensure success. If everyone works hard together, more can be accomplished. A true volunteer is committed to helping in all aspects of the care, training and exercising of the animals. Teamwork doesn’t always mean that each person gets attention for everything they do, but the benefit to the dogs is the reward.

I have spent a lot of time with one dog recently at WHS, a dog named Ginger. She has beautiful brown eyes and she loves sitting close to me on the park bench outside. She also loves a peanut butter Kong for a special treat. Participating in this “Shelter Enrichment Activity” is one of many things you can do as a volunteer. Every time I go to the WHS, I can’t wait to take Ginger out. She loves to snuggle close to me and give me big kisses. I also help train Ginger when we go outside. She is very smart and is always looking forward to “sitting” for a treat. She never wants to leave my side and loves all the attention from volunteers.

On Saturday, my fellow volunteer, Valerie, and I took out Ginger together with another WHS dog, and they had such a nice time cooling off together in the summer heat, sitting by the cool, shaded bamboo trees. These are great moments to share with another volunteer, and it is rewarding to know that we helped take the dogs out together and that the dogs were so calm and happy out in the field.

Update: Julie has informed us that Ginger was adopted just prior to the posting of this story. Congrats Ginger!

Please stop by Washington Humane Society to find your new best friend. Or if you are interested in providing anything extra for the animals there, please contact Danielle Bays,

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4 Responses to “Team Volunteer”
  1. Ginger’s gorgeous! I agree — volunteering is an enriching activity in so many different ways, not for just the dogs, but also for their human friends! 

  2. Miznoone says:

    Volunteers are the often unsung heroes of the shelter world. Thank you
    for all that you do, and for sharing your story. So happy this beautiful
    girl has been adopted.

    • StubbyDog says:

      Miznoone We are so happy Ginger was adopted too! We are sure all the love and time Julie put into her, along with the other devoted volunteers, was instrumental in helping her find her forever home!