Five days a week Daniel Allen takes a bus or catches a ride with his parents from his home near Genelle to the local SPCA.
Once there, his six to seven-hour work day begins with cleaning litter boxes and sweeping and mopping floors. After feeding and watering the cats, he takes a moment to socialize with a couple of them before heading off to wash food bowls and participate in other housekeeping duties. Later, he might help wash and sanitize the dog kennels before walking a dog on his way to the mailbox.
It’s a pretty ordinary work day by many standards but Daniel happily goes about his tasks with no expectation of being paid.
He is the epitome of a dedicated volunteer, which all SPCA branches rely upon to operate effectively.
“I do it for the animals” he says “because they can’t help themselves.
“ I have my favorite cat and my favorite dog and I come in every day to see them and give them some TLC.”
He admits to becoming attached to some of the pets and at times finds it difficult to see them leave.
“But it’s for the best” he says “It’s good to see them go to good homes.”
Margaret Crozier visits three days a week to socialize with the cats. Her visits are an important part of preparing the animals for adoption.
“Some cats never get socialized with people, so they’ll run away (when adopted),” she said. “This is why I come here.“
“I don’t really do anything physical for them other than socializing and giving them a bit of love.”
She begins in a small room that houses a few animals new to the shelter. The cats in this room are shy and require a bit of extra attention, which Margaret patiently provides.
“Sometimes I get them with cupboard love,” she said, coaxing them with special treats placed in their pens.
Those that are willing receive a cuddle and some kind words while others stay hidden beneath their pens.
She moves on to other parts of the building greeting each cat by name as she goes. By the time she’s done, every cat in the building will have had a few kind words and a couple of treats and a bit of petting and comforting thanks to Margaret.
Staffer Carrie McGrogan emphasizes the important role volunteers like Daniel and Margaret and others like them have in the operation of our local SPCA.
“We usually house anywhere from 50 to 100 animals and we depend totally on donor dollars to operate,” she says. “Volunteers fill a variety of roles that we just don’t have time to do.”
Those roles include tasks like dog walking, pet grooming, administrative support, education, fundraising, fostering, and special events. They don’t all require the commitment of Daniel or Margaret, but they do require volunteers to perform them.
For more information, or to join the team of local volunteers visit spca.bc.ca or call368-5910.
If there’s an unheralded person in our community that you think deserves recognition for their efforts contact Mike Hockley at firstname.lastname@example.org