Inspired by the example of others, this past summer, Meredith Adams decided to act on her love of animals by volunteering to help them. “My grandpa, who recently passed away, was a wonderful man and very big on volunteering,” Meredith shared, “and I wanted to follow in his footsteps in that way.” Two of Meredith’s closest friends also volunteer to help animals, one with The Cat House and the other with The Capital Humane Society. All of these examples inspired Meredith to take the next step and volunteer.
ALLISON: What animals do you volunteer with?
MEREDITH: I have the privilege of being a dog walker for The Capital Humane Society! My “job” is to walk the dogs and spend time with them. I look forward to it every single week.
ALLISON: How much time per week do you volunteer?
MEREDITH: Right now, I volunteer once a week for two hours. I’d totally encourage anyone who has a full time job and wants to volunteer to do this. Two hours is such a small amount of time; a time in which I would probably otherwise be watching Netflix. Helping the animals is much more fulfilling.
ALLISON: What ways do you volunteer?
MEREDITH: I spend time with the dogs. I also help with cleaning and at events when I can.
ALLISON: Why did you pick these activities?
MEREDITH: I love dogs and people! To be able to walk dogs, attend events, and socialize is perfect for me.
ALLISON: Share some memorable or touching moments.
MEREDITH: There are two dogs in the shelter right now who are a bonded pair; their names are Snickers and Tyke. I met them for the first time a few weeks ago. Their little tails wagged and they came up to me and immediately started licking me. When I sat down in their room, they got on my lap and started cuddling. They’ve absolutely melted my heart. I hope they find a good home, soon!
ALLISON: Share some embarrassing or funny moments.
MEREDITH: I honestly can’t think of any, but I have only been volunteering for five months. I’m sure there are some to come!
ALLISON: How have you grown in your volunteer abilities?
MEREDITH: I’m more confident in dealing with all dogs, especially now that I’ve gone through a brief animal behavior training. I feel like I know how to read their body language better.
ALLISON: What have you learned about animals from being a volunteer?
MEREDITH: Just because an animal behaves a certain way in the shelter, doesn’t mean they will be like that when they are adopted. Many animals are very nervous from being in an unknown environment. Don’t judge an animal by this. Also, there are some myths about rescuing animals. They are not all “difficult.” Some are already trained; many are extremely sweet. Animals all have different personalities; they all just want a home and someone to love them.
ALLISON: Give a tip to future volunteers.
MEREDITH: Come in with an open mind and help wherever is needed! I cleaned for months before working with the animals, but I was happy just to know I was helping. Be willing to do the dirty work; it all helps so much.
ALLISON: Why should others volunteer to help animals?
MEREDITH: It doesn’t take much time, but it helps the community and it helps animals. It also helps YOU grow as a person. Connecting with animals connects us better with ourselves and opens our hearts.
ALLISON: Anything else?
MEREDITH: Please volunteer wherever you can; the more volunteers the better. If you have kids and work full time, volunteer with your kids. If you can even just spare an hour a week, it helps.