Day 4: Big Fuzzies

How could you not love a desk paper weight with a face like that?
How could you not love a desk paper weight with a face like that?

How could you not love a desk paper weight with a face like that?

He's playing bashful.

He’s playing bashful.

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I had to remind myself that my home isn’t quite ready for Jagger.

Today, I learned the MHS is an independent non-profit that survives off private donations and grants. It takes $5,000 a day to operate. That’s $1.8 million a year.

Going in to volunteer, I was afraid that they would put me with the biggest fluffiest dog that they had. Not because I’m afraid of them or anything. Gosh no. But because I love them and would have wanted to take him home! Instead I got a chance to meet a quite a few of the canine personalities. I met with several dogs and the designated walkers to get to know the animals and take notes on their personality.

The blurbs that I created would be used to display on their windows as people come to see them as they are choosing a dog to take home. The information would also go on the MHS website for people to read as they attempt to better know the dogs online and make decisions about the new friend that they would welcome to their new living quarters.

The dogs that I met today had personalities that went from one end of the spectrum to the other. There were two large dogs under the desk of the person that was sitting next to me in the office. They sat there in silence for more than an hour. I didn’t know they were there until I got ready to leave. I was told that they were a member of the shy bunch. They were rescued from an overcrowded environment of 60 dogs and they hadn’t had much human contact in their lifetime.

I learned more about the difference between the Memphis Human Society and the Memphis Animal Shelter. In simple terms, the Memphis Human Society protects animals, like the two shy dogs, from people. The MHS takes in a greater number of rescued animals and injured animals and does not euthanize animals for time or space. The Memphis Animal Shelter, more or less, protects people from animals in picking up strays. They will euthanize animals because their shelter maybe overcrowded and because an animal has not been adopted after so long.  Today I met animals that had been at the MHS for months and several years in some cases.

Though I didn’t take anyone home today, I did make some of the most adorable friends!

Thank you for reading! Like what you read? With more than 10 years experience, Cristalynne Dupree is searching for a job where she will use her marketing, public relations and communications skill to coordinate strategies and tactics that will reach and engage the organization’s target audience.  Contact her at 1225Cristalynne@gmail.com or jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com.

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Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County: A dog gone time!

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“Woof, woof,” and “meow, meow” is what you hear when you are at the Humane Society.  Those are sounds of “please find me a nice home to go to” – in animal speak of course.  I love being around animals.  I truly believe the saying, “a dog is a man’s best friend,” at times.  Animals can bring a calming presence into someone’s life.  Just simply petting a dog or cat can reduce a person’s stress level.  My mom use to say she liked our dog best because the dog didn’t talk back and loved her unconditionally.   If you are looking to adopt a dog or cat the Humane Society is the place to go.  The Humane Society not only offers adoptions, they also take in dogs and cats that have been injured or abused.  By taking in animals that have been injured or abused, they can help rehabilitate them and make them healthy so that they can be adoption ready.  Another service they offer is called Project Stop which is only offered to people who are on government assistance that have a pet that needs to be spayed or neutered.

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At the Humane Society, I got to meet with Katie.  She showed me around the facility and told me what goes on in each area.  While I was there, I got to see where the volunteers take the dogs out on a leash and then play with them in fenced-in areas.  To help Katie with the adoption process for dogs, each dog has to have a great bio so that people can adopt them.  I got to meet some of the dogs and learn their personalities by watching them play, run around, chase after the ball, and give them lots of love.  I also got to meet Matt who talked to me about the Project Stop.  He had me check voicemails and return calls to make sure that people wanted their dog or cat spayed or neutered.

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These task may seem small but, every little bit of help is always greatly appreciated.  Organizations like the Humane Society could always use the help; it just means making that effort to make a difference. If you need a lovable creature in your life, go and adopt today.  Not only will it be life changing for the dog or cat, this experience will be life changing for you, too.

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Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job where I can merge my enthusiasm for our community, my compassionate nature and desire to make a difference.  With my education and experience, I want to bring a positive attitude ministering to high school students, college-aged students and families. . If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com or bhayes686@gmail.com
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All Paws on Deck

Kisses from Mandalay
cat kisses

cat kisses

OK team, confession time:

1) Just made the connection between living in the Volunteer State and doing Volunteer Odyssey (oy vey)

2) I am a sucker for any and all animals

3) This post is going to have a lot of gratuitous animal photos like…

Edy pup or imposter?

Desk pup, Edy

THIS ONE

Thank you, Memphis Humane Society, for giving me the quality animal time I needed.

I was very blessed as a kid to have pets. Though the random turtle or fish made an occasional appearance our family is very much a dog and cat family. The dogs are referred to as grandchildren and are given birthday parties. Is that excessive? Probably. Have you ever snuggled with a dog? Have you ever felt the warmth of a cat as they twirl between your legs showing you that they actually care? OK, I get it, I’m a sucker but at least I can recognize it.

Anyways, back to the start of my day.  Memphis Humane Society just celebrated their 80th anniversary!

Love paws

Love paws

They provide a range of services for the community such as spaying/neutering programs, adoption, investigating neglect and providing sanctuary for numerous animals that need foster care. Needless to say I was pumped to be a part of the team for the day.

Upon meeting Katie Pemberton, PR/marketing specialist, I was introduced to the facilities, the volunteer training program and some of the volunteers. Everyday there are a number of volunteers that help with the various tasks. Most importantly, for the pups, they come in to take the dogs out for walks. There was some fierce competition for those jobs. I met a number of ladies that have specific days that they come in. One volunteer is coming close to her ten year anniversary! The volunteers aren’t the only ones that get to cash in on the animal time. Almost every office I walked into had an animal counterpart to the human within. Some of the animals were pets and others were just adopted for the day. My heart is melting.

My first task was to “interview” the pups that were out on their walks. Each pup has a small bio up online and on the premises to let the potential adopters know more about them. I would go in to area where to dog was, talk to the person with them and observe and/or play with them trying to get an idea about them. It was amazing how much you could gather just from spending 10 minutes with them. Each pup definitely has their own personality and character traits. It’s amazing how they’ve evolved over time. I heard numerous stories from the different walkers about each dog and their transformation during their time at the Humane Society. In total I interviewed 11 pups including Othello, Bandit, Mandalay and iPhone. Yes, iPhone the dog.

Kaiju

Kaiju

The picture wasn’t always this pretty for the pups. Many of them were victims of abuse and neglect, like my boy Kaiju (left). He is missing his right eye and is still the happiest pup you’ve ever seen. He loves people and chasing balls. A number of the dogs also have serious burns. Apparently there is a trend of using motor oil on dogs to prevent or kill ticks and other ailments dogs may pick up. The volunteers and employees of the Humane Society have done such a great job working with and rehabilitating both the dogs and cats that you quickly forget your sadness once you get kisses from the furry ones.

thank you!

thank you!

After my time in heaven outside with the pups I went inside to help with the labeling and stuffing of thank you notes to donors.  The Humane Society operates solely on donations. The generosity of so many is amazing. It is so important to thank those donors, and so I feel like I’ve done a little bit of my part by helping.

Being at the Humane Society was great. I absolutely loved my time with the animals and humans alike. It is a small miracle that I did not come home with one pup in particular, Mandalay. I will definitely be making my way back to the Humane Society soon.

Mandalay

Mandalay

Stay tuned for more updates from the 901.

Love,

Ari

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job in community outreach or partnerships position at a non-profit organization. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com.
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Man’s Best Friends

Man’s Best Friends

By: Max Groce

I have been a pet owner all my life and I’m definitely a dog person.  We’ve always had rescues of some kind, so when I was told that I would be working at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County I was very excited. I arrived at around two o’clock at their building out in Shelby farms. When I drove up I was surprised how modern and nice the building looked. I went in trough the intake office where they take pets in. I talked to one of the staff and she led me to Katie who was my coordinator for that day. Katie then gave me a quick orientation on what the Human Society is all about.

Katie informed me how they get mistaken all the time for being Memphis Animal Control which they are not at all. They do some intakes of animals from them but that is about the only business they have with them. She then proceeds to tell me about how it all kind of works. The Humane Shelter only takes in pets that are in life threating condition. She says it’s hard because they have to turn a lot of people away but it’s a must because of their lack of space. She tells me it’s getting harder for most shelters all over Memphis because of the overpopulation. That’s why the recently started project stop, which is a low income qualifying spay and neuter and program, where you can come get your pets spay and neutered and shots as well for the lowest cost in the city. This is what I worked on most of the time I was there.

The one and only Posey

The one and only Posey

Katie then introduced me to Matt; he set me up in an office and I started my work. He started me doing call backs for voice mails left at their office for program stop. I had to call them back verify the information put into an excel format that was already set up and then handle the client. I got at this for about 2 and half hours and it’s actually kind of enjoyable. You feel like you’re actually doing something because you’re talking to people and making sure there still interested and semi getting them set up to help their pets. To make it even better the front office where I was located they had two dogs up there, Posey who was an older fluffy dog who was just as relaxed as she could be. There was also a puppy named Nightwing who I was close to adopting if didn’t already have two monster dogs at home.

Manning the phones

Manning the phones

After I got done doing that Katie came and snatched me up to take me outside to do profiles on some of the new dogs that had arrived.  This was one of my favorite parts and I think it’s everybody’s favorite part who works there. We went out to the dog playgrounds, “which there were several” and the designated dog walkers would bring out different dogs and I would play with them. To be honest, I wasn’t too good at making profiles because I was too distracted by playing with some of the dogs, all of them which were awesome. You could definitely notice how each of them had different personalities.  I think my favorite was a three legged pit-bull named Honey-boo. She wasn’t a year old and she was the most playful and sweet dog I had met that day for sure. I would say that’s one of the greatest benefits of volunteering there, which is an honest appreciation for the work that this organization does. It’s incredibly rewarding to take an animal that had been injured and abused, whether it’s chemical burns or bum leg, and then nurse it back to health where they can experience happiness and joy again. To be given a chance to witness this great organization was and awesome experience in itself.

The best part of my whole day

The best part of my whole day

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job as a business analyst. If you know of a great fit, please send it our way: mailto:jobleads@volunteerodyssey.com.

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Day 2: Jenn at the Humane Society

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On the second day of my Volunteer Odyssey, I prepared for puppy overload at the Humane Society.

I love adorable pets. As far back as I can remember during my time at the station, the Friday Noon newscast was always a favorite. The Pet of the Week segment never failed to make me smile.

I had asked about the Humane Society’s volunteer program a couple of times, but was always afraid I’d fall in love with every dog I met and want to take them all home. I thought it would be depressing to see the animals in cages and heartbreaking to walk them, play with them, get to know them, and then have to go home alone. That wasn’t how today turned out at all.

The afternoon began with a tour of the facility. It’s fancy. I can remember being at the old location on Central a few years ago  and leaving unimpressed. The relatively new digs out on Farm Road are roomy and clean. None of the dogs look unhappy or neglected. The best thing – the number of “adoption pending” signs attached to a large number of kennels.

Every animal accepted by HSMSC stays there until adopted – another reason the place is awesome. I know I haven’t said much about the cats.  I am, after all, a dog person.  There are many, many cats.  At any time you can find around 200 dogs and 170 cats at the Humane Society.  Sorry cat lovers, I didn’t take any kitty pics.

After my tour, I stuffed some envelopes and made some toys.  You can donate old socks and plastic water bottles to be turned into chew toys.  Who knew?

Making dog toys from old socks and empty water bottles

Making dog toys from old socks and empty water bottles

You can also save your newspapers and donate them to line kennels.  If you’re already a curbside recycler, why not consider donating?

Vito

Vito

And now – the best part of the day – Puppy Time.  They’re not really puppies.  In fact, some of them are getting up there in age.  To me, all dogs are puppies (pronounced PUP-PAYS, with no exceptions).  I was asked to collect info on the dogs for their bios on the Humane Society’s website.  I then took the dogs out for playtime with some other volunteers.  It’s a joyous thing to see the dogs running and playing.  They love it and it made me happy to see them smiling and bounding around.

Jay

Jay

Volunteer Pete with Zircon

Volunteer Pete with Zircon

Sweet Mattie

Sweet Mattie

Burnadette

Burnadette

This day really opened my eyes.  Volunteering with these sweeties isn’t depressing.  It’s up-lifting.  Sure, these guys are looking for a forever home, but because of the efforts of the great employees there and a string of volunteers, the animals are well cared for. They’re happy to spend some time running around and playing with me.  And I was more than happy to spend a few hours with them.

I’m searching for a job where I can transition from working in news to using my skills in PR, Social Media, and Marketing.  If you know of a great fit, please send it my way: jennallmon@gmail.com

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Week 13, Day 2: Adriene at Humane Society

Adriene and Princess Peach at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County
Adriene and Princess Peach at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County

Adriene and Princess Peach at the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County

If you look up ‘animal lover’ in the dictionary, you’d definitely see my name. Today I got to visit a place that loves animals too – The Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County (HSMSC). I last visited them in 2006 when they were in their previous, tiny Midtown location. The current facility, to which they relocated in 2008, is nestled in Shelby Farms and has enabled them to grow tremendously. Right when I walked in, a dog named Flex greeted me from behind the counter. I visited numerous cute kittens in the lobby, and saw other animals playing with potential adopters. Animals sure make a happy workplace!

Katie, the public relations and marketing specialist, gave me a tour of the facility, which afforded me visits with many more cute animals. Katie began her career with the Humane Society as a volunteer in 2009. Another example I’ve seen during my Volunteer Odyssey of volunteer work turning into employment. My first assignment was to help prep for their biggest event of the year – Paw Prints Party. Since the HSMSC is a private non-profit, they rely entirely on fundraising events like this and donations from the community to operate. I was happy to help knock out some important tasks to help make their event a success.

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Office dog cutie at the HSMSC

 

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Prepping for Paw Print Party at HSMSC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second half of my stay I was asked to help gather behavior traits from dogs as they were outside during their evening playtime. Having behavior information for the dogs is such a huge asset in helping them get adopted. Knowing they are gentle, or playful, or even intolerant to other dogs can be so important to a new owner or family that is interested in them. It was during this time that I met the Tuesday night dog walking crew. They were a friendly and enjoyable bunch. The HSMSC relies heavily on volunteers like the dog walkers who are such an invaluable part off the organization, as they give the dogs much needed playtime and socialization.

Dog walkers Gabbie & Peter at the HSMSC

Dog walkers Gabbie & Peter at the HSMSC with their favorite friends

The Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County is clearly an important asset to this city. They take in hundreds of injured and abused animals every year, housing around 250 animals at a time (not including the 100 or so in foster homes). It’s necessary to know that they do not accept strays unless they are injured or abused, which is a common misconception in the community. Other than housing animals and giving them excellent care, the HSMSC offers an array of other services, including education, animal cruelty investigation, and animal adoptions.

I really enjoyed my afternoon at the Humane Society. Animals always seem to brighten my days. If you’re an animal lover too, there are numerous ways to help out, including dog walking, being a foster parent, or getting involved in community outreach. There are also opportunities with no animal contact, including helping with special events and fundraising. Today, I got a taste of both! And, I got to meet a lot of playful, friendly, and loveable dogs and cats in need of forever homes from people like you!

Thank you for reading! I’m searching for a job in community outreach, empowering people through movement and education. If you know of a great fit, please send it my way: AdrieneHoops@gmail.com

~Adriene—————————————————————————————————————————————
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