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LBACS volunteers are formidable in their determination to socialize animals and show people that every one is adoptable in some way, even if they’re missing a limb or an eye or have a quirk or three. Unfortunately, the volunteers are spread awfully thin, and the shelters are filling up.
Last Friday’s Scratching Post focused on the creative ways that Helen Sanders CatPAWS creates volunteers and also emphasized the pressing need for them in shelters and rescues everywhere.
The rush to adopt during the pandemic has tapered to a trickle. Though it’s questionable whether adopters are returning their “pandemic pets” in droves, it’s a given that people are surrendering their pets because of lost jobs, deaths in families where surviving members don’t have the means or desire to care for the animals, and loss of their homes or relocating to a new one where pets aren’t welcome.
Even with the ongoing efforts to trap and alter cats on the streets, in parks and anywhere that isn’t a dwelling, felines are as prolific as ever and kittens are coming into shelters and rescues by the armload.
With a limited staff and so many animals, it’s up to volunteers to make the difference between an unsocialized cat or dog in a kennel and one that’s ready for a forever home. Shelter volunteers take dogs out of their kennels and walk and exercise them, hold and cuddle frightened and needy cats, clean up dog poop and scoop litter boxes, and endlessly post photos, videos and bios of every new resident.
Shelter volunteers who remained as active as possible during the pandemic recently took the time to contact former volunteers and invite them to come back in person. But it didn’t pan out, whether from lack of desire, nervousness about COVID-19 or changes in life circumstances.
“It was clear that we’d have to open our new volunteer program safely with regards to COVID,” shelter manager Staycee Dains said.
Dains said that LBACS is in the process of hiring a volunteer coordinator and putting together a new orientation. She said that seasoned volunteers will be instrumental in its development and implementation. That’s another good thing about volunteering—skilled volunteers have the knowledge, experience and devotion essential to any successful teacher.
Adoption by appointment
Social-distancing precautions have resulted in shelters nationwide conducting adoptions through appointment only instead of allowing people to …….