Volunteering at the Humane Society of Preble County

One thing I wholeheartedly believe in is volunteering. Community service should be a part of everyone’s life, even if it’s a small part. Recently, I started volunteering at the Humane Society of Preble County. It is a no-kill shelter for dogs and cats in Eaton, Ohio. Eaton is over thirty minutes from my house, so I only go once a week. When it comes to volunteering, it can be really hard to make time for it if you have a job, go to school, have kids, or any combination of the three. If you do have time, though, volunteering is a great way to spend it.

Eaton is halfway between my house and the town I go to college in. Every time I drove to either place, I passed the shelter. Sometimes I would see the dogs playing outside, or the employees photographing the dogs to put up on the website. One day I just flipped on my turn signal and pulled in to the parking lot. Then I walked in and put in a volunteer application. They accepted me on the spot and since then I’ve been volunteering once a week!

Every pet I’ve met has been so amazing. There hasn’t been a single dog that isn’t loving. Whether they love to play, be petted, or drool on me, they’re all loving in so many ways, and it breaks my heart that someone gave them up. I’ve come to know a lot of the dogs’ names, how long they’ve been there, and why they were brought in. Some have been there for over a month, while others get adopted within a week of being brought in.

I’m so happy when I hear a pet has gotten adopted. I mean, that’s the end goal, isn’t it? But I also get a little sad, because I know I won’t be able to play with that specific dog again, or pet the kitten I have every time since my first day. It’s certainly a little selfish, but whenever I’m playing with one of them, I almost feel like they’re my own dog or cat for a minute, and it’s really nice.

I’m hoping to spend more time volunteering at other places in my college town when fall semester comes around, but for now I think I’m content just at the animal shelter. It’s a really great place, all the employees are super nice, and if you live in the area and are looking for a pet, I recommend them highly!

Here’s their website, where you can view all their dogs and pictures of them. They do not have their cats up there, but I was just there today and I can tell you they just got a bunch of kittens in! So if you’re in the area and want a kitten, they sure have a handful of them.

If you don’t volunteer but have always wanted to, just do it! I have always wanted to try it, so now I am, and it’s awesome. Get out there and find something you care about and help out, I’m sure you’ll love it!

29 thoughts on “Volunteering at the Humane Society of Preble County

  1. I just adopted 2 – 3 month old kittens. Their mother was rescued from a pet hoarder while pregnant. My wife picked them up today and they were a surprise for my 4 yo son, who’s ALWAYS wanted a cat since he could talk.

    My last cat was also a rescue. The vet said he was between 4 and 8 years old when I got him. Quite a range! I had him for about 8 years before he had kidney failure, likely as a result of neglect before we got him. :/

    I always also try to tell people, that if you don’t want to commit to up to 20+ years for a kitten, older cats need homes too! And they are usually already potty trained! :) Same, of course, for dogs!

  2. What do you as a volunteer? I know they need to be played with but, do they let you walk dogs, feed kittens with bottles, do laundry, paperwork? Are you allowed to watch the veterinarian work?

  3. Dang … your photo-o-the-day looks like a wolfdog! (I once met one up close; she politely sniffed me, I politely let her, I gave her a skritch behind the ears which she appeared to enjoy.)

  4. Love the shelter for getting dogs. Our latest was a shelter dog…beagle they had alot of problems getting a perma-home for. Our family agreed, unless she was a danger to any of us, she had a permanent home with us when we got her. She’s awesome! (I’m volunteering with the American Red Cross, btw….lending my writing skills to write grant proposals.)

  5. Thanks. I just spent an hour down the rabbit hole of my local Humane Society website. I want all the cats, bunnies, guinea pigs, and horses though I can adopt none at this time. Good for you for volunteering!

  6. I volunteer with my local House Rabbit Society chapter. There is no better feeling than getting bunnies adopted.

  7. Lab mixes seem to be popular in your area :D
    We’ve had about 8 cats over the years, and they are all ones that simply showed up one day and expected to be fed and petted, not to mention the ‘traveling salesman’ ones,who show up occasionally at mealtimes, but don’t make our house a hangout. Plus the neighbors’ dogs, and a pair of Muscovy ducks (blew in one day on a windstorm). And a flock of released lovebirds that have set up operations to compete with the mynahs in the neighbor’s tree. They look like a living version of Klee’s Twittering Machine.

  8. My husband and I foster small senior (usually end of life) dogs. I also run TSSRA (Texas Senior Shelter and Rescue Animals) on Facebook, and all I can say is more people should adopt, foster, volunteer and help their local shelters.

    We moved to northeastern Ohio (Youngstown) nearly 2 years ago. I’ve not had a chance to get plugged in to the local rescue community, but I’m very involved with Texas, and I can’t tell you how much I admire you for taking the time to volunteer. Kill shelters and no kill shelters and rescues need all the volunteers they can get!

  9. When you look for volunteer opportunities once you’re back in school, you might see if your college has a chapter of Alpha Phi Omega. Not the only option, for sure, but a great opportunity to dive into community service while you’re still a student!

  10. For those who have logistical problems volunteering (little time, erratic schedule, chronic illness, etc.) another great way to volunteer is online. Years ago, when I was a single mom, I started an email list for parents of kids with the same special needs as mine. It became a real community and I was able to moderate it because I could read the emails at spare moments from my own home, rather than needing to find a chunk of time to go out. Some of my best friends are people I met through that list, so I now have friends all over the U.S. and around the world.

    If you have web skills, many smaller volunteer organizations could use help maintaining their websites. I know other people who write useful informative blogs that fill niche needs that would otherwise go unmet.

  11. Seconding Alpha Phi Omega! One of my best experiences in college! I can still sing (or “sing”) the Toast Song by heart :-)

    @coriwrites, Hello, brother!

  12. That’s a good thing you’re doing. Hope they all find homes.

    Our dog is a rescue, and we couldn’t have been any luckier with him.

  13. Kudos to ya, Athena! As this website has a zillion viewers, you just did some great advertising for shelters everywhere. We have a great big shelter here in Pasadena, CA. that I keep meaning to visit. So now I will. My best dog ever came from a shelter… she was scheduled to be put to sleep (as a puppy!!) two days before Christmas… we met her, took her home instead and she was a loyal companion for 17 years.

  14. That dog looks a lot like my husky Kai, who enjoyed many Dayton winters (and summers in the air conditioning). She looks like she would enjoy some sessions with an undercoat rake. Well, maybe not enjoy the process, but definitely the result. You’re doing good work, Athena.

  15. I started volunteering at my local shelter when I was 12; it turned into my first job, which I held until college.

  16. That’s how it starts. My bride started volunteering at the local shelter 3 years ago. When she started, we had one cat – now we have 8 cats and a dog.

  17. I’m on the board for my local humane association, so I’m excited to hear that you volunteer for yours. I saw several people ask about what volunteers can do, and the answer is anything – whatever talent you have to offer. Our animals stay in foster homes, which is one way to volunteer (and a very rewarding one, even if you get a little sad when one of your fosters leaves for their furever home). We can always use help at our adoption and other events; that could mean setting up and tearing down plus talking to people. Then there are the jobs that aren’t as obvious, the office type jobs: helping with our social media, helping to maintain the records for the animals, helping maintain our website.

    Thanks for volunteering!

  18. I should go pet the cats at my local shelter more often than I do. Not that the dogs don’t deserve love, but this area is very dog-heavy and they get lots of attnetion. I adore them. But the cats just don’t get as much attention and I adore them too! For heavy-duty volunteering I’m sure they have a more formal system, but if I want to pet the cats, all I have to do is show up. I’ve also adopted three cats (sequentially, not at once, sadly two have left me but that’s the risk we take when we love them) from them so they know I’m a kitteh person.

  19. Yes!! Volunteer for something. My allergies prevent me from being around most pets, but there are opportunities for any interest.

  20. Great post! I’m wondering if you’d be willing to talk a little more about what kinds of things you *do* as a volunteer at a shelter?

  21. @bluestgirl Yeah! Basically all I do is socialize the dogs. They put me in a room and bring in one dog at a time and I spend fifteen minutes with each just brushing and petting them. I also give the cats water and food. There’s lots of jobs to be done there, like cleaning the kennels and cat boxes, updating the website, general cleaning, but so far they’ve only have me pet dogs and feed cats.

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