What would be the one thing that Angels for Animals would like to have more of? It would be volunteers. A volunteer is someone who is dedicated to taking care of the animals at the shelter and running the various programs that keep Angels active in the community.
At times, the work is hard, but it is also rewarding.
You may cry upon looking into the eyes of an abandoned animal, but soon you realize that your effort makes a difference.
What does it take to become a volunteer? First, you must love animals. Then you ask, "What can I do for the animals?"
If you want hands-on work, then cat- or dog-kennel cleaning is the job for you. Cleanings are scheduled every day in the morning and in the afternoon. It may take only a few hours, but some may make it a day's pleasure.
Besides cleaning, you will feed, exercise and love the animals. At the new shelter, Angel Place, all kennel volunteers will learn how to appropriately train dogs on leashes and teach basic commands.
Fostering pets: If you cannot devote time for cleaning, you may want to become one of the shelter's foster families. At Angels, immediate space is rarely available. For the animals on the waiting list, we try to find people who can hold onto them for an undetermined length of time. During the time you are fostering a dog or cat, you will be asked to housebreak and teach some basic manners.
Angels is currently fine-tuning a fostering seminar that will be held sometime this summer.
Many people like to look at adoptive pets at Petsmart. If you would like to show our dogs to prospective new families or work with the cats at Petsmart, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.
Do you like talking on the phone? We need help with check-up calls. The great part of phone work is most of it can be done from your own home.
Are education talks your type of volunteering? If you like to talk to groups of kids or adults, we have a wonderful education program. Also, the opportunity is there for the development of new, expanded programs.
New centers: Angels will be operating a library and Internet center for people to use at the new facility. Are there any retired librarians or computer wizards who would like to help us get this program off to a good start?
In addition, we need to collect books, materials and computer programs. Also, Angels for Animals sends out a newsletter four times a year, and we always need help with writing articles and mailing.
If you have allergies and cannot be around animals, you can still volunteer at the numerous fund-raisers Angels has every year.
We need volunteers for the gigantic garage sale, the booth at the Canfield Fair, Octoberfest at Boardman Park, open houses twice a year and the motorcycle run. Do you have other ideas to raise money? Also, we will continue to make our deep-dish apple pies to sell to the community.
Are you a good driver? We need shuttle drivers to operate our vans for spay and neuter programs from other animal organizations.
Animal contact: If you are retired, elderly or are not physically able to clean at the shelter, how about coming in to hug a cat or brush a dog? The experts say contact with animals adds happier and healthier years to one's life.
Do you enjoy yard work? The grounds around the shelter need to be maintained. Cutting the grass, pulling weeds and pruning landscape are just a few of the areas for our outdoor volunteers.
Finally, Angels will be running a small gift shop called Angeltique. Do you have experience in retail? Then we could use you.
There are so many areas that we need volunteers. The new shelter is larger and with size come more jobs that need to be done. Angels for Animals is trying to make a positive impact on the community for animals and people with pets. Won't you join our dedicated group of volunteers?
XMary Jo Nagy is a volunteer with Angels for Animals. For more information about shelter volunteering, call (330) 793-3964 or (330) 793-6814. For special events, call (330) 337-1754.