Last night I had orientation at the Bloomington Animal Shelter for their volunteer program. It went well and I will be volunteering on Saturday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., for at least the next six months. Sacrificing my one morning to sleep in was a bit of a bummer, but with my schedule that is simply the best time for both me and the shelter, since they are closed most evenings. So, I will be dragging my booty out of bed on these crisp and cold fall/winter Saturdays, but I know it will be worth it.
I have wanted to volunteer at the shelter for awhile now, but everytime I started to fill out the volunteer application, one thing or another stopped me. Usually it was an emotional thing... I would start thinking about how hard it would be to be around all the dogs, knowing that some of them were probably going to be put to sleep. Now that I have dealt with euthanasia on a very, very personal level, my feelings towards it have changed a bit, and I know I can handle the fact that sometimes it just has to be done. Plus, Bloomington does a great job of almost always euthanizing for behaviorial/temperament issues (aggressive, unsafe dogs) and health issues. If a dog is reasonably healthy and friendly, or at least not vicious, chances are that it is going to get a good home.
The people there are all very concerned about animal welfare, and I like that. It is nice to be surrounded by a group of people who love and care for animals as much as I do.
I will be a dog walker, so I will mostly be either walking (duh) or playing with the dogs, just to give them some time to be out of their kennels and be social with a human. There are a TON of dogs (if you've ever been to the shelter, the room of dogs that you can visit and adopt is only about a quarter of the dogs on the grounds... the rest are either strays waiting for to see if anyone claims them, special needs dogs (sick, aggressive), and dogs awaiting their temperament tests or just waiting for room in the main room. I can't wait to play with all of them!