I have always loved animals. Think about it: My first word was "cat"!
I have always loved animals. Think about it: My first word was "cat"! So when I wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter, our cat's vet recommended volunteering at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. At the time, I was only 9, and no other shelters accepted youths under 16.
But the BVHS was a different story. After registering as a Pets and Pals team, (Parents and kids) my mom and I had to decide what animals we would like to work with. We first decided on dogs. After 3 2 hour training sessions, we were ready to go. Pets and Pals teams are just like regular volunteers. When we worked with dogs, we got to do the fun stuff, like walking them; playing with them in the doggy run, feeding them and making sure they had toys, bedding and water, and grooming them. We also had to do not-so-fun stuff (cleaning out kennels=yuck!) But that only happened when we were dealing with an extremely messy kennel. Most kennels were cleaned by the working staff (They get paid, volunteers do not.)
After about 3 months of working with dogs, we decided to branch out to cats, too. After more training, we finally were allowed to enter the cattery. The cats are housed in two different places: some in solitary cages and others in condos with other cats. Some of our jobs include socializing (petting and playing with) the cats, feeding them, cleaning up their cages (Taking hairy beds to the Laundry, arranging condo furniture) grooming the cats, transporting them to the clinic (If necessary) and yes, cleaning out the litter boxes. Also housed in the cat room (separated by walls, of course) are the rabbit and rodent/bird rooms. Cats are occasionally housed in the rabbit room, though in separate cages of course.
We have seen interesting animals come through the rodent room: ferrets, albino mice, and even a chinchilla! To this day I still volunteer as a pets and pals team at the BVHS.
BVHS is a no kill shelter, which means they don' put pets to sleep due to lack of space. Some people argue that BVHS IS a kill shelter, but they are mistaken. BVHS only puts animals to sleep if they are too sick to cure or too vicious to cure, and those animals are rare. Boulder Valley Humane Society also has a gift shop, vet's office, and doggy daycare. Even on days the shelter is closed (Christmas, etc.) Faithful employees still care for the animals 24/7, 365 days a year.
Thousands of animals are found as strays, captured, checked for viruses and sicknesses, and then put out for adoption. If an animal is found as a stray, they are kept on stray wait for ten days before put up for adoption, so people still have a chance to be reunited with their lost pet. BVHS is also the best way to put your pet up for adoption. If you have a litter of kittens or puppies, are moving and can't keep your pet, or have a problem keeping your cat, the BVHS will take the animal in and give it to a family that will love it as much as the people who relinquished it did. Giving animals to the Humane Society is better than leaving them out on a highway or abandoning them.
You don't have to volunteer to be a helper to the animals at the Humane Society. You could donate toys and food, go on a tour for your next birthday party, adopt your next cat, dog, hamster, and bunny or parrot there. You could buy from the gift shop of enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, with all proceeds helping the shelter. The Humane Society is helping animals every day- so stop by and visit the animals!