Animal Humane Society Volunteer Goes Miles Walking Dogs
Dog walkers at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley sometimes put in more than six miles walking dogs. It might be good exercise, but volunteers like Sam Rush say it’s good for the soul too.
“If I come in here tired and dragging, when I leave I might be tired, but I’m always happy,” says Rush, who has volunteered for 18 months at the Golden Valley location. “I just enjoy working with dogs. I lost my dog probably a year before I started here and I wanted to spend some time with dogs so that’s why I’m here.”
Sam volunteers every other week for a shift where he takes dogs either out to a fenced-in area to play or for a walk. He has his own dog at home now, but he still enjoys coming back to volunteer.
“It’s just a lot of fun to come here and volunteer,” says Rush. “If people are interested in volunteering, I definitely encourage it. It’s very rewarding.”
The Animal Humane Society has more than 1,800 active volunteers at all four locations.
“Our volunteers are crucial,” says Zach Nugent, spokesperson for the Animal Humane Society. “Sam is just awesome. I see him every other week here when he is out with the dogs. Just the way he interacts with dogs, you can really see there’s love there.”
Want to volunteer?
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at the Animal Humane Society. Volunteers must be at least 16, donate at least six hours a month and go through training. Not a dog person? No worries, there are volunteer opportunities with cats or critters or even behind the scenes.
“You don’t need to come here with a wealth of knowledge about dog behavior, cat behavior or critter behavior,” says Nugent. “We’re about to help you get there and help you learn throughout your role.”
If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up online. Sometimes there are not any volunteer slots available, but Nugent says check back because slots routinely open up.