Friday, January 9, 2009

WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE A HUMANE SOCIETY VOLUNTEER?



Meet Emily Waugh- volunteer





"The Central Oklahoma Humane Society was formed in January of 2007. Already we have made great strides in reducing the number of healthy, adoptable animals that are euthanized in Oklahoma
City each year (in 2007, that number was 18,000).

Some of our numbers for 2008 are: 4,349 animals were spayed or neutered at our clinic, 1,162 cats were trapped/neutered/returned, and almost 2,000 cats and dogs found new homes through our adoption program!

OK Humane is funded solely through private donations and grants, and receives no government funding. There are only five paid staff members. They all work in veterinary services, administration, management and adoption counseling, so we volunteers have to make up the difference everywhere else.

My background is in graphic design/web design and marketing. I maintain our web site, and am continually improving and growing that site. All our adoptable animals are listed on the site via a Petfinder.com feed. We have applications available for interested adopters, volunteers and foster homes, and a plethora of information and links about pet care.

Our goal is to be a resource for all people in our community, and I am constantly updating and evaluating our web site to make sure it serves as it should.
In addition, through our blog, Twitter, web site, etc. I speak on behalf of our entire organization. Before I ever make a statement, I have to make sure I've put aside my own personal opinions and ideas, and that I'm making comments that are in accord with our mission, because our reputation is always on the line. It's a big responsibility and I feel grateful to be trusted in this way.
I began our blog in November 2008. I have learned a lot about blogging from reading extensively online, and I think I've spared myself many of the mistakes of "young" bloggers. For example, I work hard to make all our posts relevant and useful to our readers. If people want information about OK Humane, they can get that in other places--the blog isn't the place to re-post information. Rather, I strive to write interesting, informational articles that are meaningful and useful to our readers.

Much of our communication is shifting to the web, but we do need print materials every once in a while. Anytime OK Humane needs a brochure, flyer, invitation, annual report, etc. I am usually the one who designs it and coordinates with the printer. Often, our print media is our first impression on the community, when they pick up a brochure at a Petsmart store or an event. It's very important that we maintain a professional image, and I believe that donating my professional design skills allows OK Humane to have that image, without paying prices they can't afford.


I love doing what I do best (media) on behalf of the animals, and when I can find the time, I like to actually hang out with them, too! I am proving my dedication by working for free. But I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it and this work definitely brings me a lot of satisfaction. Before OK Humane came to be, I didn't think we'd ever stop the killing of adoptable animals in Oklahoma City. Now, with all of these people working so hard, working together, I believe we really are going to achieve it."


5 comments:

Elena said...

It is always so nice to hear that someone do such a great and huge job! I wish you to successed in your great aims and God bless you and sweet animals around you!

tlcur107 said...

I've been a volunteer for the Michigan Humane Society for several years now, and I love it. I've done many different things for them, from cleaning cages and walking dogs, to adoption counseling. I've helped with office work and special events. I've even helped with appearances of the animal cops.

It can be heartbreaking working at the shelter, but at times I think it's more rewarding. To be able to see an animal find a loving, forever home is such an amazing feeling. :)

Yvonne said...

I applaud all workers at all Humane Society offices. I used to work at an animal hospital and that was hard enough. At least I knew our patients would eventually (mostly) go 'home.'

I will adopt a dog from our shelter when I'm ready. Just put down our beloved Shepard of 15 years so...it will be awhile.

Still, helping the animals shows true human compassion, IMHO.

Nadine M. Rosin-"The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood" said...

Yvonne- we are so sorry for your broken heart and totally respect your wisdom in waiting to adopt. Until the time is right, it just isn't.

Emily Waugh said...

Yvonne, sorry for your loss. It's so hard to lose a pet; you need to let yourself grieve and deal with it however you need to. Nadine is right--when you're ready, you'll be ready! And the perfect dog will be out there for you. Thanks for adopting! And to all volunteers reading this, THANK YOU for all you do! Volunteers are the heart and soul of animal rescue.