News and Media

National Volunteer Week – Thank you!

May 13, 2016

This week, 9 – 15 May, is National Volunteer Week – a celebration of volunteers and the outstanding contribution they make to our community. At The Lost Dogs’ Home, we’re very fortunate to have a team of dedicated volunteers.

Our volunteers are very special people. They donate their own time to come and help us and our animals out of the goodness of their hearts. Their contribution is vital to the day-to-day running of the Home.

On behalf of everyone at the Home, we extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our volunteers. Your dedication and commitment make such a difference to the lives of the animals in our care. Even though they can’t talk, their happy tail wags and contented purrs speak volumes.

If you’re considering becoming a volunteer, read on to meet some of our volunteer superstars and find out why it’s such a rewarding experience.

Rosy_Pixie-987425Rosy, cat enrichment volunteer

“There wasn’t a memory in my childhood that I can think of that didn’t have an animal in it. Over the years I have always wanted to do some form of volunteering, but work and children were a priority. Now that my children are older and independent, between working night shift and home, I have made time once a week to come to The Lost Dogs’ Home to volunteer.

I have been volunteering for six months now. A typical shift would be spending time with the cats – patting them, brushing their fur, playing with them with their toys. I also might clean a cage if any need it, getting it ready for the next cat. I have also helped with the profiles of cats and kittens that are ready for adoption.

What I love most is walking in and seeing the cats staring at me, knowing that they are about to be cuddled. I hope they feel that it doesn’t matter how they got there, because there are people who truly love and want them. It can be challenging walking in week after week to see the same cats still there, especially the adult cats. They are all so beautiful and have their own personality.

If you have thought about volunteering, then do it. The staff are all lovely. We are all busy with our own lives, but the cats at the Home don’t know that. They just know that when they see you open their door and put out your hand to pat them, someone does want them. Open your heart and put out your hand – that’s all it takes to make them purr.”

Katharine_Whitney-1009858Katharine, dog enrichment volunteer

“I’ve always had a passion for animals. A change of lifestyle inspired me to become a volunteer at The Lost Dogs’ Home. I started to freelance and work from home rather than in an office every day, which meant I could be a lot more flexible with my time. I was already a donor for the Home, but I wanted to get more actively involved.

I’ve been volunteering at the Home for almost four years now. I usually do the early morning shift, which involves helping the adoptions staff while they clean out the dog pens. I take the dogs out one by one, give them a walk, give them a bit of a pat, take them through some basic commands, give them some attention basically.

What I love most is just seeing the pleasure the dogs get from going for a walk, getting a treat, or having a tummy rub. You can see what a difference it makes to them. Also seeing dogs that have obviously had a bit of a rough time gain in confidence while at the Home, and you start to see their personalities shine. I think the staff do an incredible job.

Volunteering is very enjoyable. It’s a win for everyone. First, it makes such a difference to the dogs. And then you’re out in the fresh air, getting some exercise and I can guarantee that the dogs will bring a smile to your face.”

Melanie-MistyMelanie, photography volunteer

“I noticed that other photographers volunteered their time at animal shelters. I thought this was a great idea and something I would Iove to do. I decided to ask Kate, the Campaspe shelter manager, if she would mind allowing me to come out to gain some experience, and in return I would be more than happy for the Home to use my photos on its adoption profiles.

I love spending time outside with the dogs. They are at their happiest when they are playing and I love capturing that for potential adopters to see.

Volunteering at the Home makes me feel like I have played a small part in the animals’ journey towards finding the loving home they deserve, and that is an exciting feeling.

If you have the time to help out, please consider it. Not only will it help the staff be able to be more productive, I think any extra attention the animals receive also helps them to feel a little bit more secure and loved. It also makes you feel good too, knowing you’re potentially changing their lives.”

View Melanie’s work at Unleashed Photography by Mel.

Ian-Janis-kittens - CopyIan and Janis, foster carers

“For years we had been looking for some volunteer work related to handling animals. It’s our way of giving back to the community, since we love animals.

It all started with six three-week-old kittens. We can name them all, since we chose their names based on either their personalities, looks or a significant event.

It’s rewarding to see them grow, and they give you back lots of fun and entertainment as well. We had many laughs watching them play. We have visitors more often, to see the kittens! We also get a great welcome home after we have been out.

Everything you need to foster is provided to you on your first visit. Our interaction with the Home’s staff has been an absolute delight. It is very rewarding. Once you get over returning your first kittens it does become easier to do. You do need a fair bit of time to play or just sit with them, handle them, and clean up after them.

You have a good feeling about the work you’re giving back to the community, and helping the Home. We feel very good about ourselves and the role we are able to offer. It’s nice to know we are needed, and appreciate being thanked. We feel like we belong to a terrific team within the Home.”

Get involved

Are you feeling inspired to get involved and help animals in need? Learn more about our Volunteer Program and how to apply. The Home is in desperate need of foster carers, in particular. Please consider opening your home and heart to an animal that is too young for adoption, recovering from surgery, or in need of some extra TLC. Learn more about our Foster Care Program.