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An animal shelter is all about the dogs, cats and other miscellaneous creatures that pass through thedoors; but it’s the people that make it all happen.

There are a multitude of factors that go into providing every shelter animal with the best care and a successful outcome. They may be with us for an hour, they may be with us for a year, but either way, we must have people with the compassion, knowledge, energy and desire to give them the best we’ve got to give.

It’s not just about shelter employees, it’s about volunteers and a caring community. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes that same village to be the guardian of the other innocents amongst us.

Every single animal that comes into the shelter comes from somewhere in the community. Every animal that comes into the shelter is somehow cared for by our staff. Every animal that comes in here is either directly or indirectly impacted by our volunteers.

Aside from the hardship in hiring that most businesses are facing in these trying times, our volunteer ranks were decimated by the pandemic. Volunteering at an animal shelter is not just about hands on care of our fuzzy and feathered friends, it also about giving your time in areas you may not have considered, and it’s time to get back some semblance of normalcy.

Let me give you some examples.

Curb appeal. What’s that got to do with anything, right? Actually, quite a lot. Unkempt grounds make the place unappealing, which make people less likely to patronize our facility, which in turn makes our animals less likely to get adopted.

Donors want to know that their contributions go to the animals, not to the landscaper. Although our sprinkler system was burglarized for its brass and copper a few years ago, we still need the grass cut and the weeds trimmed. We have a great guy named Mike that bought a big mower for us and comes to mow every couple of weeks, but there’s too much to be done for one person. Mike gets his heartbroken when he walks through the kennels, but it doesn’t let it stop him from helping the animals.

Information Technology, Marketing & Data Entry. Ugh! Somebody’s got to do it because the vast majority of people “shop” online these days.

Animal pictures and profiles are a huge part of what gets shelter pets into homes. All that has to be supported by getting the information into the computers, utilizing the website and social media networking. Anybody with a cell phone and social media account can help promote our homeless pets but we also need help in house to get all the information into the computer system.

We lost all of our big groups that used to come in and do projects for us; the shutdown put a whammy on all that. We had school, service and business groups that came in to do everything from the Boy Scouts building livestock enclosures and laying pavers to Rowan College students assembling raised beds for the dog kennels.

Our friends at RK Subaru, who are wonderful supporters of the shelter, just contacted us last week about getting back in here to do a project; thank goodness!

The animals need all sorts of help: drivers, electricians, writers, gardeners, carpenters, videographers.

If you want to help homeless animals, whether it’s skill or just simply time that you have to give, please go to our website and click on the volunteering tab.

Finally, we want to send a special thanks to all of our volunteers that have stuck with us through the pandemic. You are the best!

Fosters needed: The kittens are arriving at the shelter! Foster homes are needed to help with kittens of all colors and ages. If you are interested in fostering, visit foster-questionnaire.

Shelter needs: Purina Cat Chow, canned dog food, soft and biscuit type dog treats, cream cheese, cat nip, hot dogs, paper towels, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.

Shelter address: 1244 N. Delsea Drive in Vineland.

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 of all types needed at the shelter

Posted in 2021, SJRAS Articles

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