My day at the Humane Society

We have been missing the cats and dogs in the Humane Society for a while since the weather was so bad, roads were icing and snowy; all we could do was making cat toys at home. Swimming and diving season is finally over and we can spend even more time on our community partner.
Sara and I went to the Humane Society on a nice Saturday and I am glad to see more volunteers were helping out on cleaning and walking dogs.  Our routines are always similar.  First we would clean up cat cages, this includes setting up clean cat litter, food water and newspaper, then we clean up dogs cages and it always seem so much easier.  I guess after all I am still more of a dog person!
After the cleaning job we would start walking dogs, the overwhelming barks and wagging tails give me a hard time on choosing a dog to walk every time.  Large dogs are my preference because they make me think of my dog back home.  However, this time I gave a new try and picked a small dog.  His name is Dony, a 6 months old puppy, he should probably be a medium-size dog when he grows up.  The staff warned me to be careful because he does not seem to like everyone.  I carefully took him out of the cage and he seemed very calm.  As we were walking out to the outdoor area he got more excited but still quite obedience.  I sat down on the bench just to take a rest and what happened next melted my heart.  He jumped up on the bench and squeezed his body under my arms and sat on my lap.  I looked at him and he looked at me with calmness and trust in his eyes.  This would be something you’d look for in a man-dog relationship!  Perhaps dogs are just like human; they have their preference and insight when facing strangers, knowing who’s having a right connection with them.
-Janice
photo 1 (1)

Our Final Plans!!

This year is coming to a close and with less than two months left of school, our group has had to make detailed plans in order to achieve our goals. We will have flyers and information sent out by the the second week of April detailing what we will be collecting. The first part of our final plan is to hang up the lists in every building and put them on every table in Commons and the CX, places that students and staff will easily see.

Next is to set out donation boxes in various buildings and in the residence halls. We plan to make these boxes bright and bold, that way a passerby will be curious enough to check out what it is for and hopefully not throw trash in it. We will set these boxes out April 11 and the final collection date will be April 23.

Along with going to the Humane society, we will be going to three different locations to pass out lists to the public for more donations. The plan is to go to PetSmart, the first weekend in April, Walmart the second, and Target the third. This way we have three different audiences to ask for donations.

The most important change we have made is making a set time and day to have a group meeting. This has helped, not only in planning, but also in making sure that each group member has a task and are taking steps to complete it.

If we still have money in our budget, the final step in our plan is to go out and purchase some of the more particular items for the shelter.

We will keep you updated on the process.

-Sara

February

It has been a while since our last post but we have all come back from a very busy winter break, which was full of training for the three of us and are now ready to dive into our project. This past month was spent swimming and diving at many meets, taking up the weekends that would be spent at the Humane Society and settling into our new class schedules.

A new month is beginning which can only mean that new goals can be created. Our plans for this month is for Rebekah to help win Nationals while Janice and I cheer from here and to spend a good amount of time planning for our fundraiser and collection drive. While Rebekah is away at Nationals for a full week, Janice and I will be cutting the vast amount of toilet paper rolls we have collected from neighbors, family and even teachers. We also plan to use our Spring Break as a week free from school and practice that can be spent walking dogs, playing with cats, and lots and lots of cleaning.

A meeting will be set up with our faculty and community advisers to help plan for our big project of this semester, which more will come on that.

Talk to you soon,

Sara

November

November was a busy month for our house. We had some hours to catch up on to make the deadline. Janice, Rebekah, and I have a big meet the first week of December, so we have been preparing for that as well as the project of gathering supplies the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri need. Over Thanksgiving break, Janice and I went in at 9 am Wednesday morning and cleaned many cat cages. Rebekah met up with us just as we were finishing and then we started walking some dogs, primarily the ones that could not be held outside while their cages were cleaned because they would jump over the fence.

Rebekah walked..

Gisele

Gisele

Sammie

Sammie

Zucchini

Zucchini

I walked..

Lugnut2

Lugnut (who would make an amazing hunting dog for someone)

Ash

Ash

These dogs enjoyed the fresh air and walking around the woods behind the humane society.

The next day Janice and I returned to the humane society (yes on Thanksgiving) to clean the cat cages again and walk the jumpy dogs, this way the staff could have a few more hands on deck so they could go home and eat Thanksgiving with their families sooner.

More to come regarding our donation collection.

Happy Holidays,

Sara

Recalling the first time I went to the shelter, I was overwhelmed by the barking of all the dogs at the same time but now, I just kind of enjoy it: seeing all the dogs wagging their tails hardly, looking at me
with the most genuine faces; all they need is just a home, a buddy.  I have walked Boomer, this big guy who looks like a brown Golden Retriever, is actually a Shepard mix.  He is only one year old, the staffs told me that he loves walking people more than
being walked by people,  I thought that would be fun to start bonding with him.  It was a bit out of control at first but later on, he would look up to me like asking me if he is walking too fast!  Then, I sat on the bench and he sat down too, that moment
of calmness was priceless and I realized volunteers are never enough; these dogs need people bonding time. They need to learn how to be calm around people in order to be potential to be  adopted.  Spending just few hours everyday with them could be just a
delight for these buddies as we might be the only people they interact with everyday

-Janice

Snikerdoodle

October was a full month of volunteering for us at the Humane Society. Over Fall Break, Janice and Rebekah stayed in Springfield, so they were able to visit with the dogs and cats. They did a mixture of things to help around the Humane Society. They walked multiple dogs each on the trail built around the building, they socialized with them, played catch with them, and even had to chase them after they escaped the cages!  Both of them even had black hands after they unfolded newspapers that were used to line the cages at night.

Most of the work we do around the Humane Society is to help the animals form a nice “cage presence” which ultimately affects their possibility of adoption. A great cage presence would exemplified by Flan, an adorable middle sized Australian Sheppard mixed with another breed. When Rebekah first walked by his cage, he seemed happy and excited to see her, but he was not barking uncontrollably like the other dogs. He wanted to be petted and adored by the people who passed by. An example of a dog with horrible cage presence would be Buckie the Basset Hound. Buckie howls anytime someone walks in the room if he is in the cage, and is not personable. Most other dogs try to give kisses, rub up against the cage, or make eye contact, which is what Flan does. Buckie exhibits all of the loving while out of the cage. Luckily, Buckie will be moving to a foster home in Hutchinson, KS. This move will hopefully help him find a permanent home.

Buckie

Flan

Rebekah was given the chance to spend some time with Bailey, who reminded her of her own dog back home. We are assuming that
Bailey was abused before arriving at the Humane Society because she was very shy and took a while to warm up to Rebekah. Bailey has poor cage presence since she is not as active as other dogs and is squeamish around  people she does not know. Once Bailey is out
of the cage, she becomes more relaxed and at ease with the person she is going on a walk with. We really hope Bailey finds a great home of a loving and caring person.

Each and every day that we go to volunteer at the Humane Society, we fall in love with each dog and cat a little bit more and hope they find an amazing home! We keep making the play toys for cats that are made out of toilet paper rolls and are  always accepting newspaper to take with us when we go. We are still planning upcoming events, like collecting towels to be used in the cages to make them more homely. We will keep you all updated!

Thank you so much!

 

 

 

UPDATE!!

So this month, we have completed our orientation and I have already started volunteering. At the orientation, we learned what we could collect outside the humane society and some tips about how to handle the animals. Our group of four were part of the 8 that RSVP’d for the orientation, but about 30 people showed up! Which is great for the humane society since they need volunteers. It was interesting to see how many people still stuck their fingers in each cage with out washing them, even though we were told not too because it could spread disease. After the almost 2 hour training, we had the opportunity to stay and learn a little bit more about training the dogs to become more adoptable. This included being able to sit, lay down and remain still, come, and even a trick to stop barking. It was difficult to see all the animals there and not be able to take them home, but as volunteers we will try to make their stay there more comfortable.

We have been collecting toilet paper rolls, so they can be cut and shaped into cat toys. Rebekah’s mom even brought a bag of them from work. This past weekend Rebekah worked on them and made probably close to 50.

On Saturday, I went and volunteer 2 and a half hours in the morning. I cleaned many cat cages, which involves changing the litter, filling the food/water bowls and wiping down the inside of the cage. It was messy, but years of being a cat owner prepared me. There are about 20 kittens available for adoption too. On average the Humane society receive 15 cats a day. These include strays and intakes. Since they are an appointment only intake center, they are backed up till November. On of the cutest cats was a kitten named Boy. He was a stray picked up behind the Post Office.

boy

 

It’s great because right before I left, a woman came in and fell in love with Boy, so I hope the next time I go he won’t be there and found a new home. The adoption fee for cats right now is $35 because there are so many of them in their care.

I can’t wait to go back and volunteer.

-Sara