When I walked through the white gates on my first day, I braced myself for the sound of hollow barking and the sight of emaciated strays crammed together in cages. I was convinced that the dog care center would be no different from other shelters I had volunteered at in the past.
It turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As I took in my surroundings, I was speechless. With spacious gardens, bright yellow walls and smiling staff, this place was like nothing I had ever seen before. Puppies romped around the well-kept gardens and older dogs lazed under palm trees, gnawing on fresh coconut. There was even a separate section for disabled dogs and a swimming pool on site! I quickly realized that the dog care center is far more than your average shelter.
As a volunteer, I spent most of my time caring for the healthy adoptable dogs. Some of our daily tasks included playing with disabled animals and socializing puppies. But, due to the unpredictable nature of shelter work, our responsibilities did change from week to week. When the shelter was dealing with a severe tick infestation, I spent most afternoons with a pair of tweezers in hand, running after and de-ticking squirming puppies. During week two, I dedicated my time to rehabilitating a traumatized Doberman named ‘Laffy’ who had been abused by his owner. I slowly became more comfortable jumping in and lending a hand wherever I was needed.
Volunteering at the dog care clinic has been an unforgettable experience and I absolutely recommend the program to anyone considering it. You don’t any special qualifications, experience or veterinary knowledge. Just bring along a love for animals and a desire to lend a paw. I’m sure your time here will be meaningful and you’ll fall in love with the people and animals there just as I did.