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National Volunteer Week: Volunteers bring big ideas


pet adoption billboard

A volunteer-designed billboard promotes adoption in Vidalia, GA.

For National Volunteer Week, we are saluting just a handful of the many thousands of volunteers who dedicate themselves to homeless animals.

Organizations that embrace volunteers benefit from the creativity and energy of new minds. Volunteers can think big — in some cases REALLY big!

Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS) in Vidalia, GA, sent us photographic evidence of a truly big idea their volunteer Marla Jernigan brought to their local landscape — a billboard!

Janet Hamiliton, secretary of SOAPS, writes, “Marla not only has worked
tirelessly in coordinating weekend cleanups of the facilities and
special adoption events, but helped with taking photos for Petfinder,
personally finding homes for animals, fostering many of the orphaned
animals who were in need of bottle feeding, and transporting animals as
far away as 200 miles to the Atlanta Humane
and other rescue groups. Even with all the
hands-on help with the animals, Marla works tirelessly with fundraising
and education,” including outside-of-the-litter-box ideas such as a
billboard that promotes pet adoption and spay/neuter.

You can’t get much bigger than that!

adoptable pit bull photo

Martha featured this pic
of adoptable Pit
Bull mix Ali
on her blog.

Some ideas are big on dedication and time as well as creativity.The Willamette Humane Society
of Salem, OR, benefits from the artistry of volunteer Martha Russell.
Martha photographs — and blogs about! — their adoptable pets on her
blog Adopt An
Oregon Dog

Kara Kuh of WHS writes, “Martha is a retired teacher who began as a
volunteer dog walker in 2007. She started bringing her own camera to WHS
and began taking photos of all the dogs she walks, which WHS staff
could then post to the dogs’ website profiles. Martha has an amazing
ability to capture each dog’s personality and take photos that highlight
each dog’s best qualities.

“Martha also created a weekly ‘dog blog’ through the website of our
local daily newspaper, the Statesman Journal. In her blog, she tells poignant
stories about each dog she meets, describing in detail their
personalities, what types of homes they would do best in, the activities
they enjoy, etc. She posts wonderful photos of each dog and recently
added videos of the dogs as well. In 2009, the Statesman Journal named
Martha’s blog ‘one of the best of the year.’  Martha Russell is one of
those truly amazing individuals who uses her talents in writing,
photography, and social media to help shelter dogs find new homes.”

What special talents do you have that can save lives in your community?
Reach out today to your local shelter or adoption group and maybe next
year we’ll be writing about you during National Volunteer Week!

You might also like:

National Volunteer Week! Rescue groups say thank you

Volunteer Week: Couples team up to aid pets

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