A plea from the Etobicoke Humane Socieyt (EHS) for dog walkers in the local Etobicoke SNAP newspaper in the fall of 2012 was enough for me to take the leap and volunteer….it was now or never.
Being an animal lover, I hoped that one day I would volunteer for a humane society. I had retired my ski patrol jacket after 24 years of volunteering for the Canadian Ski Patrol System and knew that I would now have the time to spend time with the animals. But….. it took me 4 years to finally make that decision. Many people I meet when I tell them my story, they say they could never volunteer as it would be too heartbreaking and one would become so attached to the dogs and cats that it’d be very hard emotionally. I felt that way too.
Once a week in the afternoon, I am a dog walker. This means anything from cleaning the cages and outdoor areas, cleaning up after the accidents (and with puppies there are many), feeding, administering medications, bathing, changing water bowels, sweeping/washing floors, doing laundry…and the fun things…playing with the dogs, training the dogs, giving them lots of of love and attention and taking them for walks.
All the dogs that come into the shelter have a story…some very sad. But the love and special care that they get from all the volunteers at the humane society is just amazing. I have met many wonderful and amazing people who have special places in their hearts for ensuring that these animals all go to a “forever home”. It is the most wonderful feeling when a dog is adopted and I have seen tears being shed because each dog leaves a special mark on you and it is sad to see them go, but worth it to know they will be loved in their new home and that makes me extremely happy. It has been worth it.
I have lived in Etobicoke for almost 22 years and many people I meet say, “I didn’t know there is an Etobicoke Humane Society?”. It is “our” local humane society, but EHS takes in and cares for animals from all parts of our great city.
Check out EHS’s newly designed website at www.etobicokehumanesociety.com about their upcoming fundraising events (EHS totally relies on the donations of companies and individuals), finding an animal to adopt or perhaps even consider volunteering.