Local Animal Shelters Need Help


Last updated 8/21/2014 at 9:22pm | View PDF

Photo courtesy of Kings County Animal Services

Kings County Animal Services Mall Adoption Center Manager Carolyn Keith gets ready for a day at the Mall Adoption Center.

Two area animal shelters are seeking volunteers to socialize dogs and cats, and to help them find loving homes. No doubt, it is difficult to see animals that have been abandoned, or born because the owner didn't opt to have their pet spayed. Even more difficult is seeing animals that have been neglected or abused.

But through volunteers, these pets have a second chance for a good life. Most shelters have limited personnel and funding. That is where volunteers come in. And even those with a limited amount of time can make a difference.

Kings County Animal Services continually needs volunteers to help manage its Hanford Mall Adoption Center, said Angyla Brumm, outreach coordinator. Animals live at the mall adoption center, and help is needed to feed and clean up after the dogs and cats, as well as socializing animals and talking with those considering adopting.

Valley Oak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VOSPCA) also has a need for volunteers.

"Potential volunteers must go through a volunteer orientation and kennel training," said Xiomari Rosado, volunteer coordinator. "They can then choose how they would like to help," she said.

At Valley Oak SPCA, help is needed in socialization for cats and dogs, as well as bathing, washing dishes and doing laundry. Help is also needed during offsite events, where dogs are taken to special events in hopes of being adopted. Volunteers sign up for times when they are available.

The Valley Oak SPCA also has a Steps for Pets program, where dogs one year or older and are ready for adoption are taken on walks with volunteers. The walks are held every Friday morning, and anyone can help, even without a training course.

"This helps with socialization for the dogs and to reduce their stress, getting them out of the kennels for a while," Rosado said.

Both shelters are also in need of foster families for dogs and cats. Potential fosters fill out an application and can choose what size, age and sex of pet they are interested in fostering, said Sam Delgado, VOSPCA programs coordinator. A home check is performed and fosters are given a handbook to review.

"It is very, very rewarding," Delgado said. "I've been doing it for more than 10 years."

The timeframe of fostering can vary from a couple of days post-neutering or spaying, to a couple of weeks or even months. Foster pets are taken to offsite adoption events. Just an hour a week, or a few hours one day per month, can make a big difference.


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