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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Cat shelter volunteering ?

First of all, I didn't see a forum that my questions really fit into so I posted here. Mods please move if not correct.
Just retired today. I have many home projects to keep me busy throughout the winter, but have always thought about volunteering at the local shelter to help the cats.
Do any of you do volunteering at a shelter? Could you elaborate on your experiences?
I have 3 cats and my wife has 1 dog. The dog is very old. For the last three years we wouldn't be at all surprised if we wake up and the dog had crossed. I have three cats. All are under 6 years old. Not going to get another cat. Would like to free to travel some without putting the cats through staying at the cattery. An extended weekend or a wee trip my cats are not a big problem. We can put out the auto feeder, waterer and one of my kids or grand kids could stop in every other day so , filling the feeder, water, and do the kitty chore. My worst fear would be, "I'd want to take all the cats home." How do you coup with that? If I were to bring another cat home, it would have to be a very very very special cat.

My cats aren't spoilt, Just well loved.

Last edited by Marshel; 10-02-2015 at 10:57 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 11:53 AM
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I volunteer. I go in once a week and lead a shift on the cat side at a local shelter. It's wonderful, rewarding work. I'm so happy I started volunteering this summer. You really get to know all of the cats, especially the long term residents. While it's sad that many aren't adopted, we are a no kill shelter that will care for our cats for their whole life, so they will always have a home. You will definitely fall in love with some cats, which is how I ended up with Spot! That's not a bad thing though. Personally, two cats is the limit for me, so I'm not worried about ending up with another, but I am tempted sometimes. We had a super friendly Maine coon mix in there recently that took a liking to me and followed me around when I was cleaning the cages in his room. Fortunately he found a home quickly

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 03:18 PM
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You've stated that you don't want another cat, so it shouldn't be a problem.

When I volunteered at PetSmart in their cattery, I fell in love with most of the cats. But I've been through enough heartache with adopting a fourth cat and having it not work out, so I'm not going to mess with the purrfect balance I have now.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 07:51 AM
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I volunteer at an animal welfare organisation (not exactly a shelter, but they rescue animals) and I go once a week, sometimes it's every 2-3 weeks that I manage to go. It is a wonderful experience volunteering, rewarding, and you meet some great like-minded people. I do find it hard not to want to bring the cats home... But for me, the impracticalities of having another cat right now that do ground me.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 08:53 AM
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I have volunteered for the local SPCA, at their PetSmart location. It was hard work, but I enjoyed talking with people and describing the cats. It was fun when a cricket escaped one time from the reptile food area and entered the cat enclosure - one of the cats had a great time stalking it when she was out so that I could clean her cage.

One thing that puzzles and frustrates me about this organization is, they have written descriptions of the cat's personalities on a card with each cat, but nobody ever enters that information onto their website or Petfinder descriptions. I've offered to do it numerous times, but they've never taken me up on it. I think people would be much more likely to come down to the shelter (which is actually slightly out of town on a rural road) if they knew ahead of time what sort of personality a particular cat had.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 10:14 AM
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Yes, I volunteer at a animal shelter. In fact, I adopted my two girls from the shelter I volunteer at. While it would be fortunate if all of the cats there would be adopted in a loving forever home, I know my hands are full with caring for my two cats. Even if I had the additional resources and space to adopt more cats, there may be a big personality clash between my girls and the new cat I bring home.

If you decide to volunteer, I think something important to keep in mind is it's not a zero sum arrangement. Just because you won't be adopting any of the cats at the shelter doesn't mean you can't make their lives more enjoyable at the shelter. For some cats I think it can make a very big difference for them just to have a warm lap to take a nap on or be able to play with a wand toy while they wait to get adopted. I find it very rewarding to play with and pet the cats at the shelter. Spending time with other cats also helps me to better understand my own girls.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 12:32 PM
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I used to run the group that managed fundraising events for the local shelter. Many of our volunteers did not do in-shelter work, they only worked events because they didn't want to be tempted to bring home every animal they saw. They would often see and pet the cats when they came into the shelter for meetings etc. But they didn't develop a real relationship with any of the cats. So working events may be a way to avoid getting too attached.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 10:08 PM
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That's a great idea

In our organization, there's also room for volunteers to help in speaking/educational engagements, design/web, TNR programmes etc. so lots of different areas to help out in.

Last edited by marie73; 10-05-2015 at 12:35 AM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 07:49 AM
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"My" rescue has a shop so that it both helps raise money and allows those who get ultra attached to still have a way to help.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 03:15 PM
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I've been volunteering at a shelter for a year now, and it's wonderful! I'm about to head there now. It's on the west side of town. I'm wearing my 'support your local cat house' t-shirt!
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