10/30/2013 8:51:00 AM From the Shelter Volunteers needed to care for homeless pets
By Dave Moorefield Chino Valley Animal Shelter
Animal Control is a service, which is generally considered a headache for local government, similar to dealing with complaints about potholes in streets or noisy neighbors. By providing a high level of quality service, the Chino Valley Animal Shelter has proven it doesn't have to be that way.
Animal Control Officer Angela Grassi, who responds to calls in an area covering 63 square miles, has delegated the day-to-day management of the shelter to two, part-time Adoption Specialists, whose responsibilities include daily cleaning and feeding, as well as counseling prospective adopters to choose a dog that fits well in their households. A small group of dedicated volunteers help them care for the dogs.
"We appreciate the roles our volunteers play," said Grassi. "Depending upon the person's interest and abilities a volunteer may walk dogs one or two days a week, show dogs at Petco on Sunday afternoons, transport dogs in need of veterinary care, or participate in fund-raising events. One volunteer posed as Santa at a photo booth last year, with the proceeds going to the CVAS veterinary reserve fund."
"Right now we urgently need dog walkers," said Adoption Specialist Grace Rentschler. "We need people who can commit to spend an hour or two on the same day or days each week, so that we can ensure that each dog in our care gets walked every day. Otherwise, the stress of living in the shelter can be detrimental to the dog's well-being, making placement more difficult."
"Becoming a volunteer is easy," said Adoption Specialist Bethany Steinmann. "Just complete a short application with basic, personal information. After the Police Department approves it, one of us will train the volunteer in how to handle the dogs safely. From that point on it should be fun for the volunteer as well as the dogs."