Service Learning Paper
Fox Valley Humane Association Service Learning Project
I decided to start volunteering at the local humane society because I’ve always been really passionate about animals and wanted to start benefiting them in the community. Prior to my service I was delighted because I’ve wanted to start volunteering for years and was glad the opportunity had presented itself. Throughout my experience I learned a great deal and met a lot of new people. Even though I’ve only just started serving my time at the Fox Valley Humane Association I can truly see the difference it has made in the community. I started out by attending an orientation for new volunteers. During this time I filled out paperwork, confirming I was eligible to start volunteering. Days later I contacted Kara, the volunteer coordinator, and asked what I could do to start volunteering. She suggested I start out with dishes, laundry, and cat socialization. So that’s just what I did, I started helping out with dishes. I cleaning the food bowls, syringes, litter boxes, pooper scoopers, and toys. Another task I helped out with was laundry. I washed, dried, and folded heaps of blankets, towels, toys, beds, and leashes. I also volunteered at the humane society location out at the Fox River Mall. At this destination, located right in front of Sears, I helped collect donations and informed people about the shelter. I educated them about the services the shelter has to offer such as the rover done over program, pet wellness program, TNR program, therapy and puppy training, the rebound program. Another area I helped out in during my experience was greeting community members as they entered the shelter. As the greeter I warmly welcomed people into the building, answered questions, and showed them around if they were interested in adopting. As a greeter I also collected donations people brought in. Most donations I gathered consisted of money, food, toys, litter, blankets, and other miscellaneous items. As the greeter I also dealt with many of different types of people and scenarios. For example, some people were seeking lost animals, bringing in lost animals, surrendering their pets, dropping off donations, or just wanting to know how they can volunteer. Lastly, I also helped out with cat socialization. Cat socialization consists of spending time with cats in order to get them ready for adoption. A lot of the cats brought into the shelter are strays or just not all that used to humans. If the cats aren’t properly socialized their chances of getting adopted are slim. During cat socialization I played and pet the cats so they could be on a level of trust with us. By working with them in this way it builds trust with the cats which re-socializes them. As I evaluated my experience I came to the conclusion that even though volunteering is time consuming, it’s worth the time. All of the volunteers I met were very friendly and I look forward to working with them more in the future. Even though the majority of the volunteers were elderly and much older in age as I, it was a pleasure to meet new people. Seeing that all of us volunteers got along we decided to do lunch on Tuesdays. Everyone brought something to eat, such as chili, and we had a big lunch with all of the staff and volunteers. I also noticed that as many pleasant memories there are at the shelter there’s also a fair share of unpleasant memories. One of the most pleasant memories I gained from volunteering at the shelter is seeing so many animals going to good loving families. Over the course of my time thus far I’ve helped adopt out close to fifty animals. It’s really touching to know how the animal’s lives are forever changed for the better. I also gathered that the adoption specialists really do their best to place animals in homes that will work well with the animal’s needs and personalities. It was comforting to know not anyone can just walk in and adopt an...