Volunteers make humane society work

Published 3:54 pm Friday, March 2, 2012

Bennet, who is also serving as FHS’ interim volunteer coordinator, said the best way for someone to get involved with the organization is to either contact the shelter by phone or pop in the door and fill in a volunteer form indicating the interests and skills they have to offer.
She said the shelter could use people in a multitude of ways – help with landscaping, maintenance of the facility, laundry and, of course, socializing with the animals.
Manning helps wash dishes and does an occasional load of laundry.
“It was something I had done all my life – I figured I could just as easily do it for them,” Manning said.
Brandon Reynolds also takes care of laundry and other odd chores every Thursday afternoon for three to four hours.
She said over time she truly began to appreciate the methodical steps taken every day to give the animals companionship, food, shelter and veterinary care.
From time to time, Reynolds also substitutes for other volunteers when they are sick or out of town.
“I love socializing and playing with the cats and kittens, walking dogs, and playing with them in the outside play yard as I wait for a load of clothes to dry,” she said. “Yes, I do get attached and want to take certain ones home, but have learned to just give what I can and keep them happier while they wait for their new owner to come pick them out. Selfishly, I miss them when they get adopted, but it is also rewarding to know they have a new home, and there are always new ones to care for!”
Reynolds and her husband moved to the Saluda community 15 years ago. At the time the couple agreed not to get another dog, but Brandon longed for the companionship she said only a good dog can give.
“I have been a pet lover/owner all my life, but have found being dogless a terrible, depressed condition I needed to change,” Reynolds said. “I went in search of a way to satisfy my need for canine companionship in a different way.”
About a year ago she learned of FHS from friends active in the canine foster program. She quickly found camaraderie with the staff and figured there would be no better way to be around canines than at the shelter.
There are opportunities to help outside the shelter as well.
The “on-the-road” team that takes animals to pet stores and various events to help get animals adopted always needs assistance. Bennet said FHS also needs help from people willing to participate in special events that the humane society can connect with to get involved and put the shelter’s name out there.
The shelter is always in particular need, administrators said, of volunteers who can come to the shelter to work with the animals, photograph animals once a week, help with office needs, work events and fill in for other volunteers as needed.
To find out more about volunteering with FHS, visit www.foothillshumanesociety.org or call the shelter at 828-863-4444.

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