As the New Year quickly approaches, new resolutions are in order. If doing more volunteer work, walking, or spending more quality time with family are on your list, consider adding a visit to the Daviess County Animal Shelter.
The shelter is constantly looking for volunteers to walk their dogs, as it is an extremely helpful service to the shelter employees and, more importantly, to the dogs.
“It’s good for the dogs to get out of the kennel and get a mental and physical break,” said Ashley Thompson, the director of the shelter. “It also allows the volunteers to get to understand the dogs a little bit and know their behaviors, which then helps us to place the dogs for adoption.”
Volunteers can gain a number of service hours from walking dogs for the shelter while simultaneously knowing that they are serving their community in a valuable way.
“I would think with any type of volunteer work, people are doing it because they understand that there’s a need and feel like they have something to offer,” said Thompson. “At the shelter, they’d be able to offer the animals some attention that they normally wouldn’t get locked in a cage.”
Thompson said there are currently five or six people who walk dogs on a regular basis, but they could always use more help. Deborah Board, better known around the shelter as “granny,” has been giving her time to the dogs about four times a week for 12 years and she strongly encourages everyone to give it a try.
“To me, this is like dog jail, except they didn’t do anything to get here, so I feel like we owe it to them to give them walks,” Board said. “Plus, you get more than you give. You can love on the dogs, but they’ll love on you way more than you love on them.”
After filling out a volunteering release, anyone can come walk dogs any time during the shelter’s hours of operation, making it a great option for a family or individual activity. Children over 14 years of age can walk dogs by themselves after their first visit with a parent, and children under 14 have to have a parent with them every time they help the shelter.
To take the first step in volunteering for the shelter, the necessary release form can be printed off here or picked up from the front desk, then filled out and given to an employee.