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Volunteering

lm9012
January 20th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Wasn't sure where to post this. I have a rescued dog. One of the many wonderful things he has done for me is opened my eyes to all the needy animals out there. I want to help. I found a shelter and will begin volunteering tomorrow. I'm super excited to start. I'm nervous too. I have such a soft spot for these little guys now I just know I'm gonna end up with like 3 dogs by the end of the month!! :p

I will try my best to control myself..although I would be interested in fostering. I figure this is the best way to start..anyone done this before? any experiences/stories, good/bad to share?

babyrocky1
January 20th, 2006, 05:19 PM
I havent, Ive always had my hands full with my own and the straays my daughter used to bring home, but I would like to congratulate you...thats a wonderful thing to do....Im sure it will be very rewarding but hard to leave the fur babys behind at the end of the day.:thumbs up

BMDLuver
January 20th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Make sure that going in and out of the shelter that you take precautions to not bring diseases home with you. Use antibacterial gel on your hands between touching each animal to not pass one thing on to another, get either Virkon Spray or Quadysl to spray the bottom of your shoes with and virtually strip down before you greet your dog daily. I have yet to track anything into the house by doing things this way. I'm in and out of the shelter regulary. Also, take some me time if it gets you down a bit and thanks so much for helping!

Toonces
January 21st, 2006, 05:53 PM
Thats great that you want to help. There is always a need for dog walkers or people to clean cages ect.

Fostering is very rewarding but can really tug on your heart strings. When my first foster was adopted it was so hard and I thought it would get easier but it dosent, despite how sad I was when I got my next foster and saw how much he needed us I knew that if I had kept the fisrt one this guy would not have made it, tomorrow we are picking up our 6th foster and I can't wait.

Good luck and thankyou from all the furries out there that cannot speak

Frenchy
January 21st, 2006, 07:43 PM
Toonces;I know what you mean about fostering.I just started last september,since then I always have at least one foster.So it's less painful when you think,one is getting adopted and that makes a place for another animal in need.I'm picking up my 7th tomorrow.Im9012;I wouldn't be able to volunteer in a humane society,I find it much harder to see all those animals without a family to love them.You are an angel.

maddoxies
January 22nd, 2006, 01:49 PM
A bit of my heart leaves with every foster (I can't even count how many I have had now). But I can let each one of them go because I know I have found a great home for them and that there are 10 more out there waiting to be helped.

A lot of my adopters send me emails and photos from time to time, so I have not lost touch with a lot of "my" babies.

My Heidi Ho Ho is adopted. Her foster mom had her for 7 months before I found her. I know that Mardy still has Heidi's photo on her desk at work and talks to her daily. I make sure that I send Mardy an email and/or photos at least once a month, to let her know how things are going.

I have to take a small break from fostering, while I am staying with my sister; but as soon as I am back in my own apartment, there will be a foster dog.

domesticzookeep
January 24th, 2006, 07:56 PM
I always send out emails to all my friends everytime a new 'loan'r' (foster :D ) dog moves in & ask them to forward it. You never know who's interested in adopting or fostering - but more importantly, to let people know these groups exist.

All my fosters have all been fantastic, but I would have to agree with everyone....it's hard to give them up, but you start to understand that without you, they would not have survived - and for me, that really makes it worth it!

If you are concerned about the adopting out part, ask to be involved in the application process (if you are able to volunteer the time). I consider my fosters to be my little furkids....and I'm not willing to let them go just anywhere.......so, for me, ensuring the 'right fit' with the new family is crucial. As much as I love them, I don't want them coming back (just emails & pics, thanks). I find this really helps, b/c I've personally met with the family, and know they will be moving to a good home.

But, fostering is a bit harder than having your own dog.....depending on the dog and the organization, you may have a high 'turn around' - or you may have your dog for awhile. Each time one comes in,they have to adjust to their new 'home', learn the schedule, and understand the 'rules of the house'. This takes time and patience. I don't want to discourage you, but rather make you aware of the other issues.....know your limits, and stick within them. If you know you only have time or space to have one dog at a time, make the group aware of this. It's very tempting to want to save all of them, but if you get worn out b/c you've taken in too many, you may be more likely to stop......and the shelters & rescues are ALWAYS in need of good homes, so they NEED you to be happy with the experience :D

Also, I can't stress the value of Goodwill / Value Village / other charity thrift shops for picking up lots of cheap stuffed animals for the new dogs. I can often pick up a grocery bag of stuffed toys for $5! (Considering 1 at the pet store typically costs $5-$10, this is a great way to save a bit of money....esp since I often spend alot of time picking up 'bunny guts' when they rip them open w/in the first few min...:p )

Good luck & let us know how things are going once you get started!:thumbs up

Cheers,
C.
:ca: