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RECYCLED LOVE: Volunteers are the backbone of animal rescue organizations

Animal rescues and shelters cannot survive without devoted volunteers.
Animal rescues and shelters cannot survive without devoted volunteers. - Contributed

I have dedicated today's column to all of the volunteers rooted in animal rescue. Rescues and shelters cannot survive without devoted volunteers. They are the backbone of every rescue organization’s success, and rescues cannot do the life-saving work they do without these selfless, indispensable volunteers.

There are many dedicated men and women involved in animal rescue who sacrifice time with their families to help homeless pets in need. Volunteers understand animal rescue efforts can affect their everyday life. It can be extremely difficult or tough to relax after an exhausting day or weekend in rescue. Most animal rescue stories end on a positive note but getting to that happy place can be an emotional journey.

Please understand volunteers are active at every stage of the rescue process. From trapping feral cats to picking up surrendered dogs, a volunteer’s work is never-ending. They process adoption applications, attend veterinarian appointments, conduct home inspections, interview potential adopters, fundraise, organize online auctions, answer endless emails or phone calls and just about every aspect of the adoption transaction.

Shelters depend on volunteers to not only walk and feed the pets under their care, but the same volunteers also spend quality time with the animals to help keep them social. They also help to keep the dogs' kennels and cat crates clean and sanitary. Most volunteers also devote their time by simply brushing and playing with homeless pets. No matter what a volunteer does, it is invaluable.

An accountable rescue will keep their focus at all times on rescuing animal, and genuinely great rescues look out for their volunteers. I know of many local rescues run by dynamic individuals who cannot say enough wonderful things about their volunteers. These individuals understand rescue is a group effort, and they cherish their volunteers.

At its very core, rescue is devoted to saving animals lives. I often wonder why people become involved in rescue. I feel volunteers understand they are giving animals a helping hand when society has abandoned them and let them down. Most rescue dogs and rescue cats find themselves in rescue because of humans. The very least we can do is help them out and find them loving forever homes.

Next time you visit a shelter or adopt from a rescue, please thank the volunteers. They have kept your adorable adoptable safe and loved until you brought them into your home.

Please thank a volunteer today, and please be kind to animals.

“Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless.”

– Unknown

Tracy Jessiman writes the weekly column Recycled Love and is proud to be a “voice for those with no choice.” Reach her at recycledlove@me.com

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