Providing a Hand for a Paw-Serving with SPAS

This has been my 4th semester serving with Southern Pines Animal Shelter. Wondering what’s kept me serving here for so long? Well let me tell you! When I first began working with SPAS, I started out helping with tasks such as washing dishes and laundry. However, I saw how these tasks, simple as they may be, truly affected the shelter for good. Thus, I wanted to extend my service to directly helping the animals there.

While I worked as a Cat Care Provider last semester, this semester I really felt like the shelter needed more assistance with their dogs. I noticed that, once quarantine ended and things started getting back to normal from COVID, the shelter had surges of dogs surrendered or returned to the shelter. I knew this influx of rescues was adding stress to both the workers and the dogs, so I wanted to help by serving as a Canine Companion. I was able to walk dogs who were in desperate need of attention and fresh air. To provide some extra help, I also assisted with stuffing envelopes to be sent to their donors. The shelter is always looking to improve their facility and equipment for the animals, so it is vital that information reaches the shelter’s donors!

Though my service has helped the shelter, it has also helped me personally. Being able to bond with dogs, whether as a Canine Companion or through their Dog’s Day Out program, during stressful points in the semester was incredibly rewarding. Both myself and the dogs ended up happier and calmer than when we started. SPAS is an organization I truly feel connected to through my service, so I can’t wait to continue serving with them throughout my senior year!

Me and Harper ❀

I would highly suggest that any volunteers who have a special place in their hearts for animals to consider serving at Southern Pines Animal Shelter. There are several opportunities including (but not limited to) Cat/Dog Provider, Vet Tech Assistant, Team Tidy, Surgical Prep, and they even have online volunteer options! One of the best ways to get started is to contact the shelter’s volunteer coordinator, Sarah Krock. Her email can be found directly on the website under “Meet Our Team.” Another great way to get connected is through the app GivePulse (https://www.givepulse.com) which allows you to sign up for different opportunities at the shelter. But make sure to sign up for volunteer orientation so you get to know the shelter and its needs first!

Gracyn Taylor is a theater major at Southern Miss who just completed her third year as a Luckyday Scholar.

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