Volunteers are special people

By Dr. Parker T. Barker and Prof. Percy Pussycat

Hi everybody. Meet the new PAWS Here column writers – I’m Dr. Parker T. Barker my furry friend Professor Percy Pussycat. Together we will give you the scoop on all things pet related every week.

We thought we would tackle a very important subject first. Volunteers. Volunteers are special people. They are compassionate, giving, kind and they can make a huge difference to pets that are stuck in a shelter or animal control facility. But what makes a good volunteer besides a love of animals and a big heart? Here are our collective favourite character traits.

1.  Creativity & Imagination: We can probably all agree that people who are creative and have good imaginations are great to be around. The level of passion and excitement they bring doesn’t allow the craziness of the unknown to overwhelm them or the drain of the mundane to get them down. Volunteering doesn’t need to be stressful. But it is surely rewarding.

2.  Integrity: Volunteers are often trusted with various levels of responsibility. Therefore, one of the most critical traits of being a great volunteer is integrity. When people are sincere in their everyday life, it enriches their volunteer work in a way that speaks louder than words. The way you serve really shows who you are and how much you care.

3. Sacrifice/Selflessness: Volunteering is just that – sacrificing of one’s time, energy and services without expecting anything in return. But the more you give the more you get back. The more you scratch behind the ears of a kitten, the more kisses you will get. And we all love those kisses!

4.  Flexibility: In the volunteer world things change all the time. Projects can unravel, challenges can leap out of nowhere and puppies you were attached to get adopted and move on. It takes someone willing to adapt and be flexible to thrive as a volunteer. A good way to describe it is as gaining some practice for the real world.

So, please consider giving some of your valuable time at a local shelter or animal control facility. As much or as little time as you can give will make a real difference to a dog or cat who is waiting for their furever home.

Dr. Parker T. Barker received his doctorate in Squirrel Chasing and Hoovering from the University of Hartford, CT Rescue Center. He lives on Lady’s Island with his sister, Peanut and their great Mom. Dr. Percy Pussycat is a trained animal behaviourist and received his degree from the Canine and Cat Institute in London. He lives in Shell Point with his brother, Harley and devoted human family.

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