Volunteer to help dogs

Forget Me Not Animal Shelter now has both cat buildings and dog buildings open and accepting adoptable pets – YAY!

Unfortunately, the only way we can continue accepting dogs into the adoption program is if more people sign up to volunteer as dog caregivers. We are losing two of our primary dog caregivers, and will no longer have enough volunteers to provide the necessary daily care for us to safely and humanely house dogs. Please do not make the mistake of thinking “someone else will do it” – so far, Someone Else has not stepped up, leaving us in danger of closing just when we finally got going. We need your help!

There are 14 caregiver shifts per week: 7 morning shifts, generally starting around 8:30 (although a bit earlier or later is OK), and 7 evening shifts, generally starting 5:30-6:30.

Depending on the type and number of dogs in the shelter, each shift generally lasts from 1 to 2 hours.

Dog caregiver duties include:

  • removing dog from kennel & bringing outside, either to a tie-out or for a walk if time permits
  • cleaning kennel if soiled, straightening kennel if not soiled
  • filling food and water bowls
  • occasional medication and grooming needs

The types of dogs being cared for are usually quite varied; we’ve had everything from 5-pound hyper chihuahua mixes, to 10-year-old slowpoke senior bulldogs, to a 75-pound crazy, goofy, untrained lab mix. Dog caregivers must be comfortable working with a wide range of dogs, though we do NOT intake aggressive or dangerous dogs, so you would not be asked to care for an aggressive dog.

If you can spare 2 hours per week to help Ferry County’s homeless dogs, or if you’d just like to sign up to be an occasional fill-in dog caregiver, please let us know. Contact Kim at k...@forgetmenotshelter.org to make an appointment for shelter duty introduction and training, to see if you’d like to take on a shift.

To make it extra-fun, sign up with a buddy! It’s always easier if there are 2 people per shift. We can also pair you up with another volunteer as needed. You can sign up as either a shift supervisor, or as a shift assistant, depending on your preferences.

Shift supervisors are the primary dog caregivers, and need to be in fairly good physical condition (duties include working with all the dogs of all sizes, sometimes hauling 40-pound food bags, and some physical work scrubbing, rinsing, and drying soiled kennels). Shift assistants will work with shift supervisors, and can perform whatever duties they are physically capable of doing.

Can’t do a morning or evening shift? We could also use dog walkers on a drop-in basis in the afternoons; let us know if you’d like to sign up as a dog walker and we’ll arrange an orientation visit for you. Dog walkers may choose which dogs they prefer to walk; you do not need to walk all the dogs, just whichever dogs you are most comfortable with, and on whatever days and times work with your schedule.

Prefer cats to dogs? Let us know that, too, and we’ll get you connected to some cat volunteers.

If you are unable to help out in person, please pass the word along to as many of your friends, neighbors, and coworkers as possible. We need at least 8 new dog caregiver volunteers to sign up before the end of the year.

We’ve worked hard to reach the point where Ferry County now has an actual shelter for our homeless and unwanted pets; now we need your help to continue this work, and to make a difference in the lives of these dogs and cats. Thanks for caring about shelter pets!

 

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