SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Have you wanted to start volunteering with animals but haven’t figured out how to do it yet? Are you on the fence about volunteering but want to know more? Sarah Beauchamp and Montana Tohm at the Humane Society for Greater Savannah have you covered.
“We have a pretty small staff here at the Humane Society,” said Beauchamp, volunteer coordinator for the Humane Society.
“There’s lots of different areas that our volunteers can participate in,” Tohm, the rescue’s development and foster coordinator explained.
You can volunteer for more animal enrichment-focused work — like playing with the dogs and bringing them on walks — or you can help with dishes or the Pet Fix clinic. There are also volunteer positions to care for felines, work the front desk or help train new volunteers.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of getting out during the pandemic, there are virtual volunteer options available as well. You can write the bios for animals looking for homes from the comfort of your own.
“If someone is unable to come into the shelter, we’re more than happy to help them as well,” Tohm said.
Getting involved as a volunteer takes several steps but should not be seen as too daunting. Volunteers are asked to commit at least six hours a month for six months at the Humane Society.
Because of the pandemic, many aspects of the program have gone online, including the application process.
First, you will have to apply online by going to the link here. This application will ask for basic information like your name and address, as well as questions regarding why you would like to volunteer and what you hope to gain as a volunteer.
The application will also give you an option to select a date for your orientation.
If your application is accepted, you will then attend an orientation that introduces you to the facilities and the jobs you will be doing. There is also additional training required for some jobs including dog walking and feline care.
“This is an older building, so there are some quirks to it,” Beauchamp said. Because of that, you will also be given a tour of the facilities to get you accustomed to those the area.
At the training, you will also have to purchase a $10 “volunteer packet,” which includes a t-shirt and volunteer guide.
If the time commitment is too much for you, there are more ways you can get involved with the Humane Society. This includes the Doggy Day Out program where members of the public can take dogs on “pre-approved adventures” around the area.
“It gives them kind of a break from the chaos of the shelter,” Tohm said.
Beauchamp said that these programs are nice because they are also COVID-friendly. They allow animals to get outside and humans to continue socially distancing.
If you’re not able to volunteer your time, you can help the Humane Society in other ways. You can donate items on the rescue’s wish list — which can be found here — or give a financial donation.
Tohm said that even just sharing social media posts is a big help.
“The more word that we can spread and the farther our reach is with that really helps get our animals adopted,” Tohm explained.
For more information about how to get involved at the Humane Society or Greater Savannah, you can check out their website here.