Everyday Heroes – Volunteers

November 14, 2012  

StubbyDog pays tribute to shelter and rescue volunteers

By Jessica Dolce

Photos by Melissa Lipani, originally posted on Oct. 17, 2011

They are there first thing in the morning, ready to walk the dogs. In the snow, rain, heat, they put on their sneakers, grab their treat bags and show up. “Hi guys! Who wants to go out for a walk?” they smile and get to work.

No matter what, if the dogs are at the shelter, so are they.

They show up to clean the kennels, wash the bodies, train the newbies, take the photos, do the laundry, update the website, repair the building, stuff the Kongs, sew the adoption vests, mow the lawn, man the event tables, post the Petfinder bios, massage the bodies and hold the weary.

They open their hearts to the endless stream of dogs pouring in through the shelter doors. Bonding with new souls, in just a few minutes, on the kennel floor. Promising, “It’s going to be OK” and hoping that it’s true.

They come as reliably as the sun rises, lifting the spirits of the dogs and shelter staff with their presence. They keep coming, so strong of heart, to care for the orphans.

They are the worker bees, absolutely essential to the bustling hive that is the shelter. They work together towards a common goal: saving lives.

They discover that they themselves have found a home among the temporarily homeless.

The work is tough, but they feel uplifted, empowered and proud. They are contributing to a cause, making a difference in every single life they touch. A community is discovered, new friends are made, a purpose is revealed, a fire is lit!

And then it happens. An adoption.

A dog that they helped keep sane, that they walked, bathed and loved on has been chosen. They shout it from the rooftops: “Charlie went home today!” Payment for all their hard work.

Dedicated, compassionate, strong; their energy fills the halls and helps heal the dogs as they wait for new beginnings.

They are an army of love, lifting up the shelters and rescues on their shoulders.

They are volunteers – true everyday heroes.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Everyday Heroes – Volunteers”
  1. 77aggie2 says:

    What a great article! Thanks to Jessica for putting into words what all those who work tirelessly with homeless animals feel. Yes, when we hear about one of our animals being adopted or going into a foster home away from the shelter, it’s like getting a giant jolt of adrenalin to keep on going.

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  1. [...] 2013 note:  I think volunteers and foster families are the bomb too and wrote tributes to them back in 2011. You can find them here and here.  [...]

  2. […] The next touch point a shelter pup finds holding its leash on the road to rescue is the volunteer. […]