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Hey yall!
I have wanted to volunteer for such a long time, but I've always felt like I couldn't handle it (wanting to take the animals home, feeling too heartbroken when they are scared, etc.etc.) but I think I'm finally ready to give volunteering a shot. I would be volunteering at the Charleston Animal Society. What are yall's experiences like with volunteering?
I just want to help. I'm a 21 year old college student, and I live with my boyfriend's family so I can't foster (I have a 10 year old toy poodle, and I had to persuade them to let me bring her!) so I want to help any other way I can.

Thanks yall!
 

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I both loved and hated volunteering - sometimes in the same day. There were days that broke my heart; our humane society is small, and does the best it can with limited resources, but the need is so great that the efforts seem negligible.

I saw litters of newborn puppies and kittens dropped off without their mamas, and the staff trying their best to find fosters; elderly heartworm-positive dogs surrendered by the only family they have ever known because "it's for the best" (for whom, I'd wonder?); injured strays brought in who had no hope of survival because there wasn't a vet on staff, and very little funding to pay for extensive medical treatment, even on a hugely discounted basis.

I'd go home with a heavy heart on such days, and feel guilty that I couldn't do more; I'd look at my little guys lounging at home with full bellies, sleeping in warm beds, and feel such sadness that all dogs can't experience feeling loved.

However, because I was there, I also got to experience some wonderful moments; lost pets reunited with frantic owners, dogs that came in scared and starving blossoming with just basic care, and being adopted, the staff working miracles to get a sweet black lab mix into rescue, because she would never have been adopted out of the shelter. My being there to clean out the cat cages freed staff to work the phones, and I got to play with kittens!

I don't volunteer as much as I used to, it's actually been a couple of months since I've been out there; I had to take a break. I have great respect for the shelter workers that do this day in and day out, and maintain their compassion and humanity.

Good luck with the volunteer work, even at it's worst it's worth it to get a wagging tail or a purr.
 

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Its hard. You always want to do more even when you can't. I always approach it with the understanding of I can't save everything. Its always good to keep things in perspective and do what you can and not lament about what you can't.
 

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I's great to go volunteering, but I always feel not so confident to be a volunteer. As I am afraid that I can't get along with the stranger pets, and make them uncomfortable.
 

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There's lots of ways to volunteer. I volunteered at the Arlington Humane Society for 3 years, teaching new dog owners how to train their dogs and puppies.

My nephew is in Charleston, and he did some volunteer work with the Pit Bull groups. His girlfriend volunteered at the police horse stables at Hampton Park a few years ago.

If you're an eager, enthusiastic, and reliable volunteer, people are always ready to train you to help out...
 
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