An introduction to volunteering at Animal Humane Society

An introduction to volunteering at Animal Humane Society

The organizations that came together overntime to form today’s Animal Humane Society trace their roots back more than 140 years. From day one, volunteers have been criticalnin transforming animals’ lives by making Minnesota a more caring and compassionatencommunity. Simply put, Animal Humane Society exists thanksnto volunteers who’ve dedicated their time and talents to helping animals in need. From walking dogs or assisting with surgerynpreparation, to helping with administrative tasks or working with adopters to find thenperfect pet, volunteers play a key role in our day-to-day operations. As a volunteer, you’ll bring meaning tonour mission by acting as an ambassador of AHS while operating under our core values. We are so excited to introduce you to AHSnand to learn more about you and your passion for animals. Together, we can make the world a better placenfor all living things. Although Animal Humane Society specializesnin second chances, we do so much more! AHS works to help animals and the people whonlove them through all stages of life. Whether we’re seeking to inspire young animalnlovers through educational programs or assisting pet owners by providing discounted servicesnand free food — AHS is an invaluable resource for thousands of animals and families in Minnesotanand beyond. In addition to adoption, AHS providesn• Expert behavior and training classes • Low-cost veterinary care at our two vetnclinics • Free and friendly support through ournPet Helpline • And Youth education programs We’re also committed to protecting animalsnthroughout Minnesota by investigating reports of animal abuse and neglect, collaboratingnwith law enforcement, and working to shape public policy and legislation in local government. It’s a common misconception that AHS isnaffiliated with national animal welfare organizations such as The Humane Society of the United Statesnor the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. While we all love animals and share similarnmissions, AHS is completely independent of HSUS, the ASPCA, or any other national organization. We also don’t receive government fundingnof any kind — city, state, or federal. We rely on the incredible compassion and generositynof animal lovers to fund the majority of our work. AHS shelters are located in Coon Rapids, GoldennValley, and Woodbury. Our first-ever, full-service veterinary clinicnin St. Paul opened its door to patients on September 1, 2020. There, we also host Community Outreach programsnand behavior and training classes. While the majority of animals who arrive atnAHS come from our local, Minnesota communities, many come from other areas of the United States. Animals who come to us through our transportnprogram are usually dogs from southern source shelters, but we also take in dogs and catsnfrom local agencies and animal control. Although our placement rate exceeds the 90npercent benchmark often used to qualify a shelter as no-kill, AHS do not identify asna no-kill organization. This label, which was once used to unite communitiesnin saving animal lives, now divides the animal welfare industry and causes further harm tonanimals and the shelters working tirelessly to improve their lives. AHS is an open-admission shelter. That means we accept every animal that comesnto us — the old and young, the healthy and sick, the shy and outgoing. No animal is ever turned away. A common misconception is that we euthanizenanimals if they’re not adopted within a certain timeframe or when there’s not enoughnspace in our shelters. However, the animals in our care call AHSnhome until they are placed through our adoption program or with a rescue partner. They’re never euthanized due to lack ofnspace in our shelters or the length of time they’ve been with us. Due to severe or untreatable illnesses ornuntreatable behavior issues, we sometimes face the difficult decision to euthanize annanimal — but only when we’ve exhausted all other options. Our staff and board of directors work together to develop our official position statements on importantnissues in animal welfare. These position statements are posted on our website. Our open admission and euthanasia position statementndetails the importance of accepting every animal for care regardless of age, health, breed, or temperament. So every animal has an opportunity at a second chance. We believe that active surrender prevention programs are thenbest approach to addressing the immediate and long-term needs of animals that we serve. We must balance doing the greatestngood to help the greatest number of animals with the ability to treat each animal as an individual. We also recognize that some animals are just not suitable fornplacement. When the difficult decision is made to end an animal’s life, compassionate euthanasia by injection is the humane and dignified method. There’s room in the animal welfare community for differentnadmission philosophies. We can do the most good for animals by working together and treating one another with respect. Because working together is the way that we achieve the most and the best outcomes for animals in our community. With animal lovers like you by our side, we’re ablento give thousands of dogs, cats, and critters in need the second chances they deserve. Volunteers touch nearly every part of AHS. And while most of the work happens in ournshelters, we depend on volunteers who perform duties off site as well. For example, AHS foster volunteers help carenfor animals in their own homes. Animals requiring foster care might be toonyoung for surgery, on pregnancy watch, or have medical conditions that require longernrecovery times or specialized care. New volunteers begin as foundational volunteersnAs a foundational volunteer, you will help with cleaning tasks as well as customer service,ngetting to know shelter dynamics while working closely with staff. Foundational volunteers may pick up volunteernshifts after a brief but comprehensive online training. These in-shelter roles do not require animalnhandling. If you like what you’re doing and want tontake on greater responsibility as a volunteer, and would like to work directly with animals,nyou may discuss advancing to a mid-level role with your volunteer services coordinator. Before you submit your applicationnThere are a few basic policies and requirements you should be aware of before submitting your volunteer application. We expect our volunteers to be able to communicatenprofessionally with people. Though you may come to us for your love ofnanimals, human interaction is a requirement for all volunteer roles. After you submit your volunteer application,nyou will receive an email that includes a link to schedule your interview. During this interview, you’ll learn evennmore about AHS and how you can contribute to the work of animal welfare as a volunteer. Animal Humane Society is deeply grateful forneach and every one of our volunteers. While some might think a community isn’tncomplete without a compassionate animal shelter, we know the opposite to be just as true. No animal shelter is complete without a compassionatencommunity and the volunteers who make second chances possible every day.
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An introduction to volunteering at Animal Humane Society

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