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Shelters and rescues need volunteers-Can you help?

One adopted rescue dog and one fostered rescue dog ready for adoption. The large dog,Mr. Owen, has been adopted and the smaller dog is Jessie who is looking for her forever home.
One adopted rescue dog and one fostered rescue dog ready for adoption. The large dog,Mr. Owen, has been adopted and the smaller dog is Jessie who is looking for her forever home.
Jo Ann Wentzel

Many people in spite of their busy lives like to do something charitable with their time. Pet rescues and shelters need volunteers so why not consider helping them out?

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is one of these places that rely heavily on the volunteers that give of their time every day. According to their statistics and information given by Gretchen Pressley, Communications Specialist, in 2012, there were 1312 volunteers. These volunteers contributed a total of 78,108 hours. According to an independent study, to use employees of the Humane Society instead of volunteers would have cost $1.7 million dollars so this is quite a savings. Since it would also have taken 36.5 extra employees it becomes apparent fairly quickly how important their volunteers are and why you should consider being one.

You may wonder what volunteers do. The answer is a variety of jobs. They need dog walkers and in 2012 there were 12,969 walks with dogs. They also need people willing to socialize pets since many are sorely lacking in people skills when they arrive. Volunteers help with grooming and baths. In 2012, there were 380 dogs groomed. They also work on behavioral problems through their Behavioral Modification program and volunteers worked with 362 dogs in 2012.

There are volunteers outside the building and they also do a number of tasks from a full time one of fostering pets not quite ready for prime time to working with the TNR program and helping to catch cats in need of spaying or neutering and medical care. In 2012, there were a total of 351 colonies in just Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

The need for volunteers is immense and these statistics only reflect the work done by one organization. There are many programs not even mentioned.

All Breeds Rescue and Training works with other organizations to help some of the harder to place dogs find foster and forever homes. Those volunteers who foster devote their extra time to helping a dog become more sociable and better behaved. They give them a temporary home while freeing up another spot in a shelter or rescue facility. All Breeds Rescue and Training does not actually house any dogs, but many of their staff still fosters these dogs. These dogs are all in need of a foster home or once they are ready an adoptive home. Fostering is definitely a volunteer position and much needed. According to Jenna Haines, Adoption and Foster Care Behavior Counselor, they have about 11 dogs at present waiting for a foster home. Volunteers are always needed here to take part in the various programs and training they offer.

Any charitable organization has need of volunteers to pick up the slack when it is too costly to hire more help and often a sporadic schedule does not warrant a full time employee. You just need call to be put to work and be a useful part of helping to save pets.

Another wonderful place to volunteer is the National Dog Mill Rescue located about 30 minutes from Colorado Springs. This organization also relies heavily on volunteers as they do their valuable work of going to other states and transporting dogs from puppy mills that would otherwise be killed. The dogs they serve have often no socialization and have been terribly neglected or abused. These dogs need very patient volunteers. Jenny Whitt of NDMR, the same types of volunteering is needed from walking and grooming to cleaning out kennels to just sitting quietly in the kennel with frightened dogs till they get used to humans and start to trust them.

So if you can offer any time at all, one or all of these facilities will welcome you. Hopefully, they will always have plenty of good hearted souls to help such in -need -beautiful dogs.

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