Ever since I adopted Meya, I have wanted to volunteer to help other dogs in need. Both of my dogs have hefty vet bills, so I can’t contribute much financially, but I’ve wanted to help out in other ways. I live in a medium sized town, that is about an hour away from the major city in the state, which is where most of the rescues and animal advocacy groups are located.
Last fall I drove down and volunteered at a huge adoption event, I worked the front gate, back gate, and even held a sign at the side of the road encouraging people to come. It was fun, but seemed disconnected from the dogs I wanted to help. Plus, twice a year doesn’t seem like a lot of help. So, last week I approached the group running the adoptions at the local Petsmart and asked if I could help. I didn’t hear from them until they showed up at the library to schedule the meeting room for a volunteer meeting. They encouraged me to attend the meeting.
As a new volunteer this meeting was eye opening. Rather then a rescue group, this is a group of concerned citizens from several different organizations who pull dogs from the county shelter to take to two pet stores where they hold adoption events through the oversight of another town’s shelter. Apparently this means the group has to answer to even more bosses, and open themselves to even more liability. Because this isn’t a rescue, the animals not adopted go back to the shelter and face being put to sleep. But as a new group, there is no set up adoption protocol for vetting adopters.
I’m still trying to figure out if this is the right avenue for volunteering for me. I’m no more of an expert then the others in this group, but the idea of being liable for years to come for the actions of a dog I see for an hour at an adoption event is scary. Really, before this, I’d thought the peril of volunteering would be falling in love with the animals, or taking one home with me.