Caring for Critters

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On Friday we were invited to join some of our friends from co-op on a really neat outing that was especially close to our hearts. The field trip was a service project. We were joining our friends at the local humane society to spend the day offering whatever help we could to this great organization.

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The outing lasted most of the day. We arrived at the Humane Society around 11 o’clock. Our day began with an orientation that all volunteers need to go through before they can work with the animals. After signing the volunteer paperwork we were taken into the back of the Humane Society where we were able to meet and greet all the fur babies that are up for adoption.

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There are three separate back rooms in the Lawrence County Humane Society. There is a cat room, a small dog and puppy room, and a large dog room. I was surprised at how few animals were there.  They only had a handful of dogs up for adoption and about a dozen cats. Many of the dogs were “on hold” while the Humane Society reviewed applications of potential families. While we were there we witnessed two of the large dogs find their “furever homes,” as well as one of the cats. It was such a heartwarming thing to see.

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After the tour we headed to the outside building where the bedding supplies and food is stored. There we enjoyed a pizza party with friends before our work begin.

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After lunch our large group was split into two smaller groups, with the young children and moms staying outside in the garage to work, and the teenagers moving inside to do needed chores inside.

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Outside the younger kids and the moms took on the task of sorting through bags of donated towels and blankets, separating out the ones that had zippers and buttons and anything else that could be a danger to the animals. These donations were put in separate bags that will be donated to another charity for the local rescue mission.

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The other big task that was worked on outside was sorting and organizing the many bags and cans of dog and cat food. Tyler, Grace, and Rusty helped with this task. They helped other volunteers sort through the many containers of food, checking the expiration dates and reshelving all the food and treats according to whether it was cat food or dog food,  adult food or puppy/kitten food, or if it was for large breed or small breed animals.

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It was a big job but many hands made for light work…(or as light as possible with 50 pound bags of dog food.) 😉

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Inside the Humane Society other kids were helping out with cleaning chores and laundry. The Humane Society, with its many animals and many pounds of bedding, requires many loads of laundry to be washed and dried daily. The staff was thrilled to have eager helpers to lift some of that burden.

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 One of the favorite chores of the day however was the opportunity to care for the animals themselves. We were able to take one of the dogs that is up for adoption out for a walk.

The boys went with me but I was the one who did the actual walking due to volunteer policy and their age.

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We walked Brady. Brady was a Pitbull/Boxer mix. He was a 1 year old and basically a black and white furry Tyler. He bounced his way through our 20 minute walk, full of enthusiasm and energy. By the end of the walk we were convinced that Brady has ADHD. Both little boys tried to talk me into adopting Brady but I think we have enough bouncy energy in our home. I think a 14 year old Bassett Hound might be more our speed. 🙂

But he was a charming, goofy, and sweet puppy that is wonderful with kids and other dogs (for anyone that might be looking to adopt!)

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Overall it was a very enjoyable day and we left feeling quite satisfied by the opportunity to spend the day volunteering at our local shelter. The experience left my teens eager to go back and volunteer on a regular basis. We are looking at our schedule and to see if that is a commitment we can take on right now. I’d love it if we could make that happen for them.

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When Toby arrived home the kids eagerly greeted him with a play by play of our day at the shelter. I could see Toby discretely scanning the room for an extra four furry feet and seemed relieved to discover that we had resisted temptation and returned home empty handed. 😉

…at least for the time being,

because everyone knows:

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