Organization: Lakeshore Humane Society, Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, Best Friends Animal Society and Hidden Paws Network
Volunteer Service: Since 2012
How did you first get involved in animal fostering?
It started when I asked for donations instead of gifts for my birthday one year so I could help a local animal rescue. A friend of mine had adopted a cat from Happily Ever After (HEA), a no-kill animal sanctuary in Green Bay, and I decided to give my donations to them. The day I dropped off my donation at their center, I ended up socializing with animals for a few hours and signed up on the spot to volunteer walking dogs. A few months later, I started providing animal care for cats at their adoption center and saw that there was great need for kitten fostering.
How has your volunteerism evolved over the years?
Now that I live outside of Green Bay, I volunteer with the Lakeshore Humane Society fostering kittens that are too young to be put up for adoption. I still assist HEA with events when I am able. With Hidden Paws Network, I provide a temporary foster home for cats whose owners are dealing with domestic abuse. I also volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, which is the largest animal protection organization in the country. I have visited the sanctuary numerous times to volunteer. Remotely, I assist with their membership support thank you calls and recently joined their editorial team.
What do you feel is the most rewarding part of volunteering?
Volunteering with animal rescue is about saving little lives. Kittens often come to shelters or rescues just a few days or weeks old and need around-the-clock care until they are old enough to be adopted. It’s a wonderful feeling when I get to see them become healthy, grow and develop personalities.
How has volunteering impacted you?
I have learned a lot about animal welfare, and I have grown personally. I consider myself an introvert, so some of the activities I am involved with have given me the opportunity to come out of my shell. In addition, fostering animals keeps me organized because I have to keep track of their feeding and medication schedules.
What advice would you give other colleagues looking to start volunteering?
There are many ways to support your community. You may give monetarily or, like me, you may have a lot of time to give instead. Find what you’re passionate about and then find an organization that offers those services. Your passion will drive your volunteering and make you want to keep giving back.
What message would you like other people to know?
There are a lot of animal welfare organizations out there that could use your help. We all hope that one day there won’t be a need for animal rescues, but until then, we will continue to work hard and be there for the animals.