Making a Difference
“On Thanksgiving morning my wife yelled for me to rush downstairs. When I got there I found my long time friend and companion, Parker, having a severe seizure. Unfortunately, the seizure lasted several minutes and we could not break it. There had been too much damage done and sadly we had to have him put to rest.
I had been feeling the loss of Parker for several months, in addition to some marital problems, and I needed someone to help me through the tough times that were sure to lie ahead. At this point, I began looking for a new pet. I checked all the local shelters and could not find any dogs that jumped out saying “Here I am,” until I saw Jerle, now known as Coolhand. Right away I knew he was the one.
The moment I saw him I instantly fell in love. Upon a meet with Jerle, the dog walker stated that a lot of the dogs, especially the ones labeled in the red, or difficult to walk category, didn’t get out much every day. He said they could use a few big strong guys to help with the bigger dogs. I had wanted to give back and it was on my list of things to do, so I signed up for orientation and have been volunteering here ever since.
I get joy out of seeing the dogs get all excited to play and interact, plus I like to work with them on training them to be better dogs. The dogs at Animal Protectors helped get me through some rough times in my life and now I want to pay them back. I help with everything from maintenance to laundry, dog walking, and anything else that is asked of me. There are great employees and volunteers alike, the board has the best intentions for the animals and go above and beyond to do what they can for the animals.
People I talk to about volunteering say they couldn’t because they would want to take them all home, but that’s not the case with most. The animals are well cared for, have a routine, and just getting them out to play or walk gives them joy. I plan on adopting another soon."
Sam Butera – dog walker/maintenance volunteer