Volunteers are the backbone of the HEART program. Everyone working with HEART is a volunteer- and we could always use more! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application!
There are many ways one can volunteer for our organization. Here are a few ideas:
Hold dogs and tell people about them, their history, age, behavior, etc. Tell people about our cats and introduce them. We have dogs of various types and not all dogs are appropriate for every home. We seek to match dogs with a home that will, hopefully, be a lifelong fit. Most of our dogs have missed critical socialization and training stages in their lives that we work to fill while seeking an appropriate home. We do not have a lot of dogs we would trust in homes with young children simply because the normal behaviors of children can often be too much for our dogs to handle. Each potential adopter is encouraged to fill out an adoption application and is also informed that if the application is approved, but the dog is not a good match, we will work with them to find a dog that might work better for their family.
Without foster parents there would be no rescue group! It takes a special person to accept an unknown dog or cat into their home, integrate it with their other pets and family, help socialize the animal, take it to adoption events and, ultimately, let it go to a new forever home. It is incredibly rewarding and may break your heart, but there are so many dogs and cats in need that by letting them go you open the door for the next pet in need, and the next, and the next. We have different levels of foster homes with different skills and abilities. We have senior dogs that just need a quiet place to live until a new home is found. We have young dogs that need daily walks, basic training, and “home schooling”. We have dogs with severe behavior issues that require a foster who will dedicate themselves to learning about behavior and learning about improving the lot of their foster pet. So, we’d love to have you and will work to find a dog or cat that is an appropriate foster based on your level of experience and your activity level.
We love having great photos of our pets because it honestly helps them get adopted. However, not all of our foster parents know how to take a great photo! If you’ve got experience and would like to help in this area, we’d love it! You’d need to take photos, most often at adoption events (there are areas around the location that might help you get a good photo). You’d also have to get the photo to our volunteer who updates the website. You do not have to be a professional photographer, but you do have to be patient!
We have adoption books that we need to have updated regularly. Some go with us to adoption events and some are left at various stores for patrons to look through and discuss. As dogs are added to our program and adopted, the books need to be updated. You’d need to be able to pull their information from the web and create a document that can be printed. You’d also need to be able to print the pages and take those pages to your assigned location to update the available pets books.
Are you in the business of marketing? We aren’t. We need your expertise and help! We know there are things we could be doing that would get our name out there better, help us get more volunteers and donations, we just don’t know exactly how to do that! Additionally, we are as large as we really want to get at this point, so we would need help with balancing more volunteers and foster homes with keeping about the same number of pets in our program as we have now. We are interested in continuing to work with smaller dogs and with small dogs that need a little extra help. We are very selective in the homes where our dogs end up and want to continue to offer great dogs to folks who have an understanding that there is more to a dog than the color of his fur or where he grew up!
We rely almost exclusively on adoption fees and donations made at adoption events for our program. This keeps our funding a bit lower than we’d like. We’d like to know that we are able to help the dogs or cats that need a surgery or have a medication that’s a bit more than most without putting our group into a financial bind. Heartworm treatments, dental care, allergy issues, bladder stones, amputations, special diets- all of these are medical care we give our dogs and all of them place a certain level of strain on our finances! If you have experience in fund raising and can work independently with guidance from our president, we’d like to hear from you! All of our board members and many of our foster homes are swamped with the day-to-day care required to keep the group running and to keep the dogs healthy. We need someone who can run an event who does not require our board members to walk them through it or, in some cases, attend.