Meet Cherise, who performs a wide variety of volunteer tasks at the shelter. One of her favorites has been helping socialize, exercise, and care for a special group of dogs who’ve been forced by an ongoing court case to grow up at the shelter. Her devotion has helped keep them physically and mentally healthy.
How long have you been volunteering at the county shelter?
Since December 2011, before PB SOC was created.
How did you get started?
I had been wanting to volunteer with animals, and since I had just completed my graduate degree, I had more time to dedicate to making a difference in our community. I also was trying to learn more about dog training and socialization to help my own dog, so the two things came together naturally.
What do you do for the county shelter?
I walk, socialize, and train dogs for the shelter. I also have had the honor of working with our confiscated puppies, who are now adolescents, this has been a great learning experience for me! I also have helped with adoption counseling, helping dogs and families find the right match, and community outreach events.
What is one of your favorite things about working with the dogs?
My two favorite things are seeing dogs be adopted and working with the dogs. I have been lucky enough to help many families find their right match and help many of our dogs, and a couple cats, find their forever home. Helping with adoptions is one of the most amazing and positive parts of volunteering and gives you a chance to see the magic moment where the connection is made and gives you a chance to educate about responsible ownership, all at the same time. My other favorite part of volunteering is actually working with the dogs themselves. Seeing how they transform from stressed or scared in their kennels into normal, happy, loving, and playful dogs while out on a walk or playing in the play yards warms my heart every time! A dog’s resiliency is nothing short of amazing!
What would you say to someone considering volunteering for our shelter?
I have always wanted to make the world a better place, and to do that we have to give a little of ourselves to change a small corner of our world. Over my time volunteering, I have had many people tell me they couldn’t volunteer because it would be too sad, and although not every moment will be perfect, there are so many magical moments and happiness to be had, and to create, by volunteering. Volunteering is great for your soul and truly has been the most rewarding endeavors I have undertaken!
Anything else you’d like to share?
If you love animals, we have so many different volunteer duties that whatever your talents and abilities we would love to have you join us in helping the animals of Sacramento county.
Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, Cherise! You’re a truly priceless part of our volunteer team.