Volunteer Heroes | Animal Place

Volunteers head out with Associate CEO Kelcie for a morning shift.

Earlier this month, we sent out a plea for volunteers. Short-staffed and facing grueling heat, we were in a tough situation. Our incredible supporters pulled through for us. As you always do! Over the past few weeks we’ve welcomed a number of brand new volunteers to our program.


Our call for assistance breathed new life into our pandemic paused volunteer program. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcomed volunteers to come out to the sanctuary on a regular basis. But like so many good things, the pandemic brought the program to a halt. And after two long years, we are beginning to bring volunteers back out to the sanctuary.


As we begin to welcome new faces to the sanctuary, we want to highlight a  dedicated volunteer and friend who has been coming out to Animal Place for nearly a decade. 


Trish began her volunteer career with Animal Place nine years ago.


When she saw a post online about a need for volunteers, she reached out, wanting to know how she could help. She started out washing feeders and waterers for rescued hens twice a week. When these hens, who’d been rescued from an egg farm, were flown out to adopters and sanctuaries across the country, Trish needed a new volunteer job. She began sorting produce, cleaning nest boxes, and helping with any small job she could assist with. 


After years of volunteering at the sanctuary, Trish gained the experience to begin working with donkeys Jujube and Jellybean. She cleans their hooves, brushes them, brings them treats, and keeps their barn and pasture sparkling clean. Jujube and Jellybean know Trish and they look forward to her visits. She’s formed a deep connection with these two who welcome her love and care. Trish now starts her volunteer mornings with barn cleaning before moving onto spending time with her donkey friends. 


While Trish feels so lucky to have developed a relationship with Jujube and Jellybean, she says her time barn cleaning brings her immense joy because she gets to work alongside animal caregivers. Trish calls her caregiver friends “the best people” and loves helping them in any way she is able.


“It’s so great to be with people who think and feel the same feelings that I do about animals and the world,” Trish states of her time spent at the sanctuary. “It’s true, and when I am with them, I feel hope for our world.” 


It really is true. In a world where people who care deeply about animals are often called “too sensitive” or their passions not understood, volunteering is a form of community-making.


Reminding yourself that there are people who feel the same way you do can be a breath of fresh air. When the world feels overwhelming, it’s so important to allow yourself opportunities to see the good that exists. And the good is here. Not only can you come out and witness animals living under the care of people who respect them, you can actively be a part of it.


Join our community of those who care. We would love to have you!


Learn more about volunteering requirements and sign up today here. 


Special thanks to volunteer Trish for sharing her thoughts about her years of work here at the sanctuary.


Written by Chelsea Pinkham



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Volunteer Heroes | Animal Place

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