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Within the next few weeks, things will shift back into high gear at the shelter. With the spring comes the onslaught of animals that will ramp us back up to maximum capacity. In order to meet the demands of housing and fostering 100s of animals every day, we’ll need your help.

Volunteers are essential in the care and successful adoption outcomes for shelter animals and when it comes to the high risk pets, their contributions can truly make the difference between life and death.

Case in point are the 100s of infant kittens that will be brought into the shelter between March and November. Every year we are slammed with litter after litter of kittens, many, without mothers and of an age requiring special care and maintenance. Those kittens require round the clock care that can only be provided in foster homes.

That’s not always feasible for working families so even our foster program needs the support of our “Kitten Cuddler” program, which is made up of volunteers that come to the shelter to provide day care for the babies. Foster parents drop the little ones off at the shelter in the morning and pick them up at the end of day. Kitten Cuddler volunteers come in shifts to feed and nurture those that can’t be on their own for more than a couple of hours. Without these two groups of volunteers, these kittens would not survive.

In general, the volunteers that work here on site, help keep the adoptable pets socialized, stimulated and more adoptable. They walk them, sit with them, help train them, bathe or brush them; all sorts of interactions that help mediate the stress of being in the shelter.

When the volunteers go home, they talk to neighbors and friends and post pictures of the animals on their social media sites. They generally help market them, which very often results in adoptions.

Along with the direct care of the animals, we need a team of volunteers with diverse skills to help with all the support aspects of the daily demands. We need people that have skills in data entry, repairs and maintenance, reception duties and technical support just to name a few.

COVID nearly shut down our volunteer program this past year but we’ve learned a lot in facing that challenge and staying safe.

With our population about to increase dramatically, it’s time to recruit and train new volunteers and welcome back those that have helped us in the past. Orientation and training is being offered through Zoom calls and online.

If you’re interested in being part of any of our life saving programs or efforts, visit southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org or email the volunteer coordinator at volunteers@sjras.org.

Hope to see you soon!

Shelter needs: Canned dog food, real cheese singles, canned chicken and tuna, soft treats for dogs, pet carriers, paper towels, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.

To submit an adoption form for one of the Pets of the Week or another animal at the shelter, visit https://southjerseyregionalanimalshelter.org

Source: South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter: Volunteers needed, including Kitten Cuddlers!

Posted in 2021, SJRAS Articles, Special Programs