In part two of a series of three, we spotlight Animal Ark’s ambitious goals for 2020. Yesterday, we expressed our desire to add more fosters to our ranks in the New Year. Today we focus on the backbone of our mission: Our volunteers.

Animal Ark relies heavily on our volunteers. Over the recent holidays, as people opened presents around the tree and enjoyed socializing with friends and families, multiple volunteers arrived diligently at Animal Ark, like always, and braved the cold temps and slush walking our many dogs. Volunteers made their regular rounds from kitty condo to kitty condo, providing holiday cheer and playtime to our cats. Our volunteers are the very definition of selflessness and we appreciate them more than words can express.

It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get as a volunteer watching a cat or dog become their best self through your efforts. Cats abandoned on our doorstep that spent their first days, weeks or months at Animal Ark hidden far from reach in the deep recesses of a kitty condo now eagerly vie for affection thanks to the time and effort of our cat volunteers. Dogs that once shook in fear at the very sight of a human now walk proudly by our volunteers’ sides on their daily walks and excitedly play with their canine companions. A person might be tempted to think that “merely” playing with a dog or cat isn’t doing any good. On the contrary, this is key to helping our most needy animals feel special and loved. It’s with mixed emotions our volunteers watch cats and dogs leave Animal Ark on their way to forever homes. On one hand they’ve developed a special bond with these once-fearful creatures. But on the other hand, they know their efforts guaranteed success between the pets and their new people.

Volunteering at Animal Ark isn’t just a way of helping our furry residents: One can also develop lasting relationships with beings of the human variety. Janet Hanson and Karen Warrings, for instance, became friends through volunteering at Animal Ark. As Janet put it, “We are family to the animals we spend time with, and we’re family to each other.”

We are always in need of more volunteers. Here’s a link to our Volunteer Page which lists the types of positions we have available. And note that after orientation, volunteers can make their own schedules: Even if you can spare just an hour each week to walk dogs or play with the cats, this is an hour of socialization our residents wouldn’t receive otherwise.

Saturday, Jan. 11, from 10-11 a.m. is our next New Volunteer Orientation. Join us at Animal Ark as we take you through the rules of volunteering. Then you can begin immediately working with our many critters. Here’s a link to the Volunteer Application. There are also several documents to review before beginning as a volunteer which ensures your safety and that of our cats and dogs. Help us achieve our goal of adding many new volunteers during 2020. Join us on Jan. 11 and enjoy the rewards volunteering can bring!

Here are a couple of our residents that you might like to come meet…and perhaps even take home!

Keesa recently found her forever home, only to be returned due to unforeseen allergy issues. Keesa is the whole package: Stunningly beautiful and as sweet as can be. After Keesa snuggles in your lap and purrs up a storm, we’re sure you’ll agree that your home might just be Keesa’s forever home.
Meet Rocket. I’m slow to trust but have made tremendous strides thanks to the patience and kindness of Animal Ark’s volunteers. I love petting and grooming and playing outside…and car rides are my favorite thing! Find out more about me on the Adoption page.

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