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Our volunteers in Action!
I don’t want to join a “group”. These were my thoughts when I was invited to a meeting with a group of like minded individuals to discuss raising money to help puppy mill dogs. I was already a volunteer at the SPCA so I knew what puppy mills were and had seen firsthand some of the survivors. I had even donated money to help out the cause. I was only going to go to give some suggestions for fundraising. I didn’t even know anyone that well. Plus I didn’t have time to be in another group. After the first meeting the group decided to meet again and brainstorm.
The next meeting saw a few new faces and some people drop out. Well, this is the last one I’m coming to, I thought. I’ll just give a few ideas and toss the ball in “their” court.
By the third meeting, they were talking about transports and having a “name” for the group. I still wasn’t going to stay but I voted on a name anyway.
I don’t know when I decided to stay or when “they” became “we”. I don’t know when strangers became friends. It might have been after washing those poor, filthy dogs who had never had a bath before, never felt grass under their feet, never having had a kind word or kiss on the head. It might have been after we shaved down the 10 pound dog who was so matted her legs could hardly move apart and she really weighed five pounds. It may have been while I was holding one of the dogs who lived in a chicken coup in a barn with 440 other dogs for his whole life or watching another dog run in circles because that was all he could do for nine years of his life in the cage he called home. At some point, I knew I was “in a group”. I was in a group filled with people who work hard, who miss family events, who take off of work, who drive in blizzards, who give up weekends, who take money out of their own pockets, who come in sick, and come in tired and come in when they would rather be sitting on their couches watching TV. I’m in a group now and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Be the change you want to see in the world. Not they or them…YOU!
I volunteer at the SPCA and that is how I got involved with Furever Friends. The dogs that come in are terrified of simple things like grass, doors and stairs. These dogs are not used to human touch. I help bathe the dogs and then spend time with them in their kennel in my capacity as a SPCA volunteer. One dog, Felicity, a Newfoundland, warmed up to me after I gave her some bologna and loved her neck being massaged. It is so gratifying to see a scared dog become more confident as she becomes more accustomed to human touch. All that these dogs really need is patience, compassion and love. Volunteering is such a rewarding experience for me!Molly Wadsworth
About 6 years ago my wife and I started fostering dogs for the EC SPCA. We had a time where the SPCA did not need us to foster but a woman working with the shelter had a puppy mill dog which needed help. We couldn’t say no to this pitiful little Pomeranian, with a crooked tail, no teeth and his tongue hanging out. We learned a lot about mill dogs in a short time and soon learned this woman who brings these dogs to the shelter, was forming a group to do these rescues.
I was one of the original members of the group. We were a bunch of dog lovers who just wanted to bring freedom and a loving life to as many dogs as possible. Of course we needed funding to accomplish our tasks of obtaining dogs, bring them to the shelter, washing them and vetting them and loving them to begin their new lives. Funding was an issue but with the help of many generous people, Galleria events and a couple basket raffles, we are on sound ground.
The group started out with about 8 members and has grown to about 42. Most of the members are women but we do have a sprinkling of men. I personally have never gone on a transport but I have learned through documentation and the stories that the members tell with their eyes filling with water, just how terrible these loving creatures are treated.
I help when they return, with the bathing and bedding and vetting at the shelter. It is often a smelly, wet job, but holding them when vetting as well as drying to see their fear and try to show them love and have them trust that they won’t be ignored or abused any more brings smiles to everyone.
It can be difficult at times and there are other members who perform many more tasks, but we are all working for one result, to save dogs. Seeing them when they come in and again when they get adopted gives us a special pride. Their tail wags as you hold them or the kisses they give you as they snuggle in your arms is our best reward as well as the heartfelt joy of saving a dog’s life.Jack McFarland