Working at the Animal shelter is an amazing part of of my Saturdays every fortnight. The dedication of the staff and other volunteers is overwhelming . It starts early at 8am and we all start our duties of cleaning and ensuring our furry friends are cared for .A handful of dogs are often put in the run pens and given a bit of freedom. It allow us to clean the pens more thoroughly and easily . Scrubbing them down with special cleaner and lifting the bedding , remove any dirty bedding and pick up toys. Very often some dogs are a handfull but you can tie them on lead and work around them . We help each other to clean and have them all ready by 10.30am. Meanwhile it is all action stations in the Kitchen area preparing the food for the day . The dogs in isolation are a bit harder to work round as the pens are individual and smaller but they must be cleaned .
Once the dogs are cleaned it is ready for feed time . Each dog is locked up to prevent fighting .All becomes quiet . It is amazing suddenly no barking or noise . The dogs know food is coming their way. With a gobble and happy grins they tuck into a mix of dogfood/dryfood/and often mince too . Once they are fed it is time to ensure dirty towels and washing is started and the cats bowls are started to be washed. We restock and clean up the kitchen area and arrange any food to be dethawed for the next day. We then start to check if any dogs are still hungry and re feed them . Any dogs that arenot eating (maynot like the food) we take a different food to them. Once we are happy all dogs are fed and full we then pick up the bowls put down the beds and let the dogs rest for at least half an hour. The morning walks can then proceed.Every dog at the shelter is walked. The dirty bowls are washed dried and put away and Kitchen floor area cleaned.Often there are donated goods that need to be bagged and stored .Newspapers to be stacked for the cat area . Litter to be put away. The small tasks mean alot .Other volunteers often do the walking and help hang out the washing . I like to help hands on. Its our choice.What about the cats you say. Well the cats have a more open plan to the dogs and I really like the lay out . The day is very different as the medicating and cleaning requirements are different. Feed times are different due to the heat.Cats are more fussy and are fed in the cooler part of the day . No food is given until night time. All the litter trays and areas are hosed down and cages re papered etc. There is routine and these tasks are completed in the mornings as well . It gives time for grooming and other duties in the afternoon . The Hydro bath area is also in full swing until 12noon and believe me there are pampered pooches.
The generosity of people donating food and other pet supplies is amazing. I hope this gives an insight into volunteer work at the shelter .