Updated: Dec 20, 2019
About a month ago, we volunteered at the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County, an animal shelter dedicated to (as their mission page cites) “caring for and placing unwanted and abandoned animals in loving homes; promoting responsible pet ownership and humane treatment of all animals.”
PMHSKC is a no-kill shelter–they do not euthanize animals for time or space, and only when a pet has a behavioral or severe physical disability that can’t be corrected do they euthanize–but even then, it’s not a decision taken lightly, and such cases are rare. They’ll take in any animal, no matter how big or small, no matter what the background, and they’ll take all the time they want or need to let the animal get used to people and heal, which is the way to do it. In short: good policy!
As for the volunteering, coordinating was surprisingly easy. All it took were a few quick exchanges with the volunteer coordinator (contact information can be found on the website) and bam! You have a volunteer date.
We volunteered on the 9th of February, from 1:30 to 3:00. PMHSKC is open 11-5 on all days except Sundays and third Wednesdays. Our task there wasn’t too hard, to be honest. It was, however, a task that needed both time and volunteers that could be spared, which many shelters don’t have. So then the critical tasks take priority, while the other ones just sort of molder in the background, until someone finally comes to do them. Apart from donations, volunteers are among one of the biggest needs a shelter has. While PMHSKC is not big by shelter standards, they hold about 50-60 animals, and that’s no small task.
We were set to work, sweeping behind cages holding all sorts of cats too new for the shelter to put on display. While we were there, we got to interact and meet with them, possibly weeks before anybody else would’ve. With soapy water and rags we washed walls and we cleaned cat condos. Along the way, we got to find out a little more about each other while we worked.
Afterwards, we pet the rescue puppy scrambling throughout the back rooms, looked at the inhabitants of the Dog Wing, and got to hold and pet the giant rabbit in the smaller pet area that was bigger than a cat and definitely less adorable.
This volunteering project related to shelter because animals who didn’t have a home or couldn’t have a home could live indoors and be safe, warm and comfy, with food and drink during the day. It is a safe shelter for animals to live, and cozy condos would be like an apartment to stay away from each other for their own privacy. This volunteering helped the animals by keeping their shelter home clean.
You could volunteer, too. So, what’s stopping you now?