My name is Joan Siegel. My husband Joel Solonche and I first began volunteering at HVSPCA five years ago when our daughter, Emily introduced us to the shelter when she and her friends were fulfilling their community service obligations. We were happy to help care for the shelter’s cats and dogs and have continued to help to this day. Inevitably we adopted several cats, notably Homer, Ichabod, Amy, Mocha Chip and Leo to join our family. Meanwhile, we have seen sad stories turn into glad stories and so often thought it would be good to share what life is like as a volunteer. The shelter, of course, is a temporary sanctuary as each animal awaits adoption. You can almost imagine their saying, “Pick me! Pick me!” It is their home until they are “Going Home” as we like to say when they are adopted. A CELEBRATION!!
Nevertheless, as any home, there’s a lot of housework involved in maintaining a clean and comfortable environment for the animals. My contribution toward housekeeping is fulfilled by washing cat bowls and litter boxes in the cat shelter’s kitchen. Currently I am most fortunate to have as my kitchen buddy, the cat named Jerry who always oversees my dishwashing skills and gives me head bobs for service well done! Meanwhile in the open cat room where the animals are free to run and play, other volunteers are vacuuming and washing the floor, preparing meals, grooming the cats and playing with them.
Another way volunteers can help is by walking dogs who need a daily workout. It’s a great exercise for both the dog and the dog walker as they run up and down the hill beside the shelter.