Testimonials from current volunteers
…the reasons I keep coming back are way too many to list here. But tops among them are the chance to make a meaningful difference every single day; the respect I have for the dedication, talents, and resilience of my fellow volunteers; the ongoing needs of the shelter that aren’t being met; and the conviction that, slowly but surely, our shelter can become a national model if we all keep fighting for it.
And, of course, there’s nothing more fun than working with animals and I’m totally hooked. — J.H.
…I’m still a very new volunteer, but I’m here because I am constantly blown away by the AMAZING dogs that end up without a home. As I cannot keep them all (I wish), I will do the next best thing: advocate for them.
Who knows…maybe when I retire I’ll get to have a giant pack? We’ll see…. 😉 — S.M.
I’m here because of Jaxx aka Casper! I was blown away at the videos posted and accurate information OAS had on the Internet. Every volunteer knew about the dogs and actually spent time with them. I knew then I needed to be apart of this team!
Now my boyfriend and I volunteer as a couple! Couples therapy and helping animals all in one! Lol!
I feel good after every shift! — J.M.
…I started volunteering at OAS in 2012. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the shelter is held together by a remarkable community of knowledgeable, caring and dedicated people – a community that is very welcoming to anyone who wants to pitch in. One of the reasons I keep coming back to OAS is this extraordinary community.
The other reason I keep coming back is because there are always cats who need my love and understanding – the scared surrendered pair whose guardian passed away or lost her housing; the starving, sickly stray who was clearly once someone’s beloved companion; the tiny kittens born on the street and separated from mom too early. Without volunteers to help cats like these adjust to shelter life and heal from their physical and emotional wounds, they wouldn’t be able to find the loving homes they desperately need. I love being a part of that process… — T.G.
I’ve always volunteered one place or another… I also really wanted a dog but couldn’t have one due to my busy schedule and the cats who ruled the house so I volunteered to get my dog fill. 2 years later I took one of the dogs home who can go to work with me and gets along with the cats. 😀 — S.S.
I started volunteering after several years of volunteering and fostering with SF dog rescues. I did transports from municipal shelters a few times and after seeing the environments realized I also wanted to spend time with those dogs that the rescue couldn’t or didn’t take. I just started in November 2015, and I am eager to continue and find other ways to contribute. — M
…I wanted to help out – be a part of the solution. What I found at OAS – an incredible organization, coordinating energy of staff and volunteers, with an incredible crew of people who truly care about what they are doing. I’m impressed every day – from the little things like keeping people informed of daily activities — to coordinated efforts to help the pups who need extra attention and special handling. The love and compassion these people muster, after their 9-5’s, crazy busy work and personal schedules, really makes you believe in humanity. And of course, getting cuddles, hugs, kisses, and sweet smiles from the pups you meet on your shift makes it all worthwhile!… — K.R.
…when I walked in to the Open House, that was the first time I’d even stepped foot in a shelter or rescue organization! Suffice it to say I had very little understanding of how the various types of organizations worked, how municipal organizations and rescue agencies partnered, or really, much of anything! But I liked the energy (even though it seemed a little frenetic at times) and I decided to go through with my training.
At first I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to commit the 6 hours a month requested – I hadn’t volunteered that consistently in a long time. But before I knew it, I was sucked into the energy of OAS, finding myself picking up extra shifts when help was needed, pitching in with special events, manning the Facebook page, and training for Kitten Crew and Cat Crew. Now, instead of feeling burdened by my weekly shifts, I find myself missing the cats (and the people) when I’m forced to miss a week! It’s a pretty remarkable thing to be the first one to stop by and start to work with a scared cat who finds herself at the shelter, and to be part of the team that helps her get to the point where she’s ready to find her match in the adoption gallery or through one of our partners. –K.C.
I started volunteering because I love animals. I didn’t do much volunteering while I was in college or anything else besides studying. I feel like I missed out on a lot, so I am doing as much as I can now. OAS is a place where I can help animals and relieve stress. I have learned a lot from the shelter. I have had several small and medium dogs before, but never handled large dogs. I was kind of scared they might bite or bark at me, but I got mostly hugs and kisses. Every time I come in, I get to work with multiple dogs with different personalities. Some are shy, some are energetic ball crazy, and some just want to cuddle. It’s also exciting to see a dog leave the shelter, either having been adopted or found by their owners. After my 2 hour shifts at OAS, I am tired from standing and being pulled by the big dogs, but I leave happy, free of stress and knowing I made a difference to these dogs. –S.C.
I became a volunteer because I wanted to give some love to the animals while they wait for their forever homes. Plus I thought playing with some cats and kittens on the weekend would be fun. That’s about all I had in mind before I signed up for the Open House. Little did I know how immensely rewarding it would be. Every week I get to help families find the perfect cat. I get to help scared cats by comforting them and see them come out of their shell. And every Saturday when I go in for my shift I get to work alongside a wonderful group of volunteers and staff. Oh, and yes (just like I thought) I do get some kitty cuddle time and get to play with a bunch of cats and kittens, and yes it is the greatest thing ever! –L.D.