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who here volunteers at a shelter?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of volunteering at the NYC ASPCA to socialize cats or help with adoptions.
I just worry that all those unwanted kitties will break my heart and I'll want to take them all home! (and I don't think my roommates would be too happy about that...)
post #2 of 9
I don't but am thinking of the one right around the corner from me. I think that will be the hardest part of volunteering.

But think of it this way too: You'll get 20 cats that you don't have to find places for their litter boxes at home!
post #3 of 9
I volunteer at a local no-kill shelter Friday evenings socializing the kitties. It's hard at times; there are some kitties that I fall for instantly. I tell myself, sure I could adopt this one, but what happens when there's another one that pulls at my heart? I certainly can't adopt that one too, and any others after that.

I enjoy it so much though. For me it's such a great way to end the week.
post #4 of 9
I volunteer here. I'm trained in socialization for our former ferals (which is every cat at that shelter, give or take the handful that were rescued when an elderly owner passed away).

The organization is extremely close to my heart because of everything we do for these animals. We don't kill ANY cats (unless they are in the immediate process of dying painfully, i.e just been brought in after being severely hit by a car or if they're in the final painful stages of a disease) no matter how unsocialized, unadoptable they are or their status with long-term diseases. We are a rescue, though, so we don't take surrendered housecats like a traditional SPCA would.

But we do tons of outreach work, tons of education (a class on claws, a class on nutrition, etc) and we support great causes (like anti-breed specific legistlation, for one). We also don't let our adopters declaw their cats or let them outside without a leash and harness.

It's been really, really rewarding. I've been there for over a year and have only had one spontaneous adoption
post #5 of 9
I am going to be soon... I just need to call and make a orientation time...
post #6 of 9
I've been volunteering at CCHS for about a year now.

I socialize with the cats and yes there have been quite a few that I've wanted to take home, but I kept on telling myself "No this cat needs to be the best friend of some lonely person, or some young child, and will go to a great home because that is what he/she deserves, and that is the plan God has for him/her."

And I was able to leave the shelter kitty-less and still with a smile on my face.
post #7 of 9
I did try at one point, but it broke my heart and I couldn't go back!
post #8 of 9
I used to volunteer w/BARC at PetSmart.
post #9 of 9
I do - I also work there at weekends - in Kattens Værn here in Copenhagen. I don't think I could possibly be happier anywhere else (until I have my own cattery, of course). Yes, there is always going to be a story that will break your heart, but the rewards are just endless. It's so wonderful to see a cat who was bruised and broken spirited and hungry and lost when they came into the shelter, leave to a forever home with their head held high, their confidence restored to the God-like quality that all cats should have and they're glossy and happy and healthy.... and to know you had a part in helping them to become what they are, is a wonderful, wonderful feeling. I've seen strays and "dumpster" kitties come in and leave like kings and queens. I know that I've done everything within MY own power to help them and that I'm a part of a team of people who have done exactly the same. Every little bit you can do does make a huge difference.

I would definitely go to your shelter and go for it - it takes a little bit of getting used to at first, but it's worth that little bit of pain.

Yes, some cats are so sick that they are beyond help and have to be euthanized for their own sakes... and that does hurt, but you know that it really was for the cat that you did it. It's not a no-kill shelter - but it's for the right reasons. We don't put a cat to sleep because they've been with us too long. We have a vet who works with us and if the cat really is suffering more than we can help, then and only then, are they put out of their misery. If we can make them better, we will do everything that we can to do so. If we can give them the love and attention and all the veterinary care they need, then it's down to the cat's own will to live to determine whether or not they can make it. Some women who have been there for years, still cry when a cat is put to sleep - but we all get together, have tea, coffee, cake and a cry and then we're fine. We are a very strong and close team - and that makes it so much easier.
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