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.
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.
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
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