Volunteer and foster coordinator earns a “Thumbs-Up”

Published 10:00 pm Friday, June 24, 2016

The duties of a volunteer and foster coordinator as performed by Samantha Austin for Foothills Humane Society requires genuine commitment. On a weekly basis she interviews, trains, and monitors new and existing volunteers who spend hundreds of hours per week performing duties vital to daily operation of a shelter the size of FHS.

Samantha often fosters newborn kittens or puppies requiring bottle feedings every two hours and manual stimulation to eliminate digested foods. Occasionally young kittens are medically stressed and Sam ramps up their hydration level intravenously in an effort to save that precious life.

When kitten and puppy season proves prolific such as now, there is considerable pressure on a foster coordinator to provide the number of suitable foster homes temporarily needed and Samantha’s effort has been victorious. Currently FHS has 69 kittens that are too young to be housed at the shelter and each is with one of 25 different foster families. For those new to fostering younger animals, Samantha provides detailed training relative to their specific needs.

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Throughout the year, Samantha successfully profiles suitable adopters while away from the shelter at “On the Road” adoption events. But most valuable to the shelter’s mission is her eagerness to embrace opportunity to be a voice on behalf of Pitbulls, educating those prejudiced against the breed due to misinformed publicity. And who better could speak for these dogs than a person who owns a few herself?

Not limited to volunteer and foster coordinator responsibilities, Samantha enters donations into accounting software and is a crucial member of the adoption staff, matching adopters to animals that fit well into that family’s lifestyle.

Having started as a summer intern, then paid animal care attendant, she advanced to her current position, stepping up whenever the need, never declining help or waiting to be asked.

Exhibiting her level of maturity, Samantha eagerly embraces the opportunity to show her compassionate nature to students in Polk County High School’s FHS Club, encouraging them to educate friends and family regarding the full responsibility for pet ownership while stressing the importance of giving back to the community.

The executive director, board members and staff wish to give a “Thumbs UP” to Samantha who generously uses her intelligence and compassion with great success.

– article submitted
by Sharon Rose