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It’s National Volunteer Week! Rescue groups say thank you



Pearl is one of the many cats receiving extra attention from volunteers at Clatsop County Animal Control Services in Warrenton, OR.

This week, April 18-24, is National Volunteer Week. Volunteers are the lifeline of animal adoption, providing shelters with extra-special care and support. Some adoption groups are composed entirely of volunteers, with no paid staff at all.

Petfinder recently asked our member shelters and adoption groups to send us stories of some of their most valued volunteers.

We were overwhelmed with their incredible tales of volunteer dedication and creativity. We will be sharing a number of these with you throughout this week.

Some volunteers first come to a shelter to adopt a pet and are so impressed by the mission, they return to offer assistance to the pets they could not take home.

Clatsop County Animal Control and Shelter
in Warrenton, OR, told us of Linda Dygert, who began her relationship with the shelter about 10 years ago when she adopted a deaf Aussie/Samoyed Mix. 

Linda returned to fill a weekly four-hour shift greeting visitors,
answering telephones, and introducing pets to prospective adopters.

“Over the years, this stalwart and devoted shelter ambassador added more
and more ways to serve the animals. She has kept our local public radio
station apprised of adoptable pets, answers Petfinder inquiries, fields
requests for spay/neuter and emergency vet-care assistance, transfers
animals to veterinary appointments, manages the shelter’s photo wall of
fame, keeps adoption-program scrapbooks current and serves as secretary
to the shelter’s complementary fund raising organization.”

Linda also
gives every other Sunday to host an adoption booth at the local street
market to showcase shelter animals. “The icing on this substantial
‘cake’ is that Linda Dygert does everything with quiet grace and
unwavering humility. No matter what the challenges are, or how the
staffing and customer dynamics play out day in and day out, Linda’s
heart is with the animals. There aren’t enough ways to show her how
much we appreciate her.”

German Shepherd Rescue
of Central New York
in Tully, NY, wrote us about their very special 2009
Volunteer of the Year:

“All of the GSRCNY volunteers are greatly
appreciated, but in 2009 one volunteer stands out. Martha Mills adopted Moose from GSRCNY in August 2008. Together, Martha and Moose have
attended all of the 2009 GSRCNY events, helping to promote our breed, and
mostly helping to get our rescues adopted. She has coordinated raffle
baskets and ticket sales, netting the rescue over $500 at one single
event. Martha has also taken on the tasks of checking applicant
references, creating promotional materials, and creating new
partnerships for GSRCNY. We thank Martha for her dedication!”

you return to volunteer after you adopted a pet? We’d love to hear your
story in our comments!

You might also like:

How You Can Help Pets

Video: Volunteering with Shelter Dogs

Video: Volunteering with Shelter Cats

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