Puppy love: JRHS in need of more volunteersGeorge Lopez and Jeffy are just two of the seven dogs sitting in their kennels at the James River Humane Society waiting for someone to give them some attention. Jennie Barnard, president of the board at the JRHS, said the need for volunteers is great, especially finding people to help with the dogs more than cats.
George Lopez and Jeffy are just two of the seven dogs sitting in their kennels at the James River Humane Society waiting for someone to give them some attention.
Jennie Barnard, president of the board at the JRHS, said the need for volunteers is great, especially finding people to help with the dogs more than cats.
“The primary need we have right now is for dog volunteers more than cats,” Barnard said. “That’s our biggest need right now. But we can always use cat volunteers as well.”
All volunteers can help by socializing the animals, as well as feeding them and cleaning their cages, kennels or litter boxes during the evening hours, Barnard said. The shelter currently has 24 cats and seven dogs of all ages. All animals are healthy and ready to interact with the volunteers until they find a home.
“As soon as they come in, we take them to the veterinarian and have them checked out,” Barnard said. “So, they’re definitely well taken care of here.”
This time of the year is particularly difficult because students who often help at the animal shelter graduate high school or college, added Kris Meidinger, dog manager at JRHS.
“School is going to finish, and kids are graduating,” Meidinger said. “So, we’re losing quite a few people.”
The shelter, Barnard said, is also looking for volunteers to help with lawn care. Duties include mowing the lawn once a week and maintaining the pet cemetery next to the office.
“The other issue we have right now is the need for volunteers to help with the lawn care this summer,” Barnard said. “We need a few good people. The work can be hard, so we need some dedicated people to come in at least once a week.”
The JRHS also welcomes organizations to help with painting dog houses, planting flowers or picking up garbage. Upon signing up, volunteers undergo four training sessions to better understand how to socialize with the animals. After successful completion of the training, volunteers receive a key to enter the shelter at their convenience, Meidinger said.
“We understand we have to work with people’s schedules,” she said. “This way, volunteers can come in, be here for two hours playing and cleaning, and be able to do it when they can.”
Throughout the summer, the JRHS will also be busy relocating the dogs to a new building right next door, which is more spacious and has a larger recreational area for the dogs.
“We do have a new building that we’re hoping to open soon, but we don’t have a set time for that yet,” Barnard said. “In it, though, there will be an exercise area for the dogs for when it is snowy or muddy outside because exercise is important to the dogs.”
All dogs and cats are ready to find a home, Barnard said. Unfortunately, some of the animals currently at the JRHS have been there more than once because their owners could not keep them or could not move with them.
Although they are always welcome and will be cared for, Barnard said, the shelter’s objective is to find each animal a home.
“Our goal is to take care of them until they find their forever home,” she said. “That’s ultimately what we’re about.”
To volunteer, contact Meidinger at 252-0747.
Sun reporter Minerva Morato can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org