Working at the Lee County Humane Society may seem like the job of a lifetime for all the animal lovers out there. However, working there isn’t all puppy licks and petting kittens.
Most of the animals coming in are either being dropped off by someone who didn’t want them, picked up by animal control or coming from an accidental litter.
“The shelter itself doesn’t have a lot of money, so we do what we can for the animals, but a lot of them come in needing medical treatment we can’t afford,” said Joanne Gilson, a four-year volunteer at the shelter.
A majority of the money comes from donations, and anyone wanting to donate can do so through their website.
The Lee County Humane Society takes in over 5,000 dogs and cats each year. They run a foster care program for people in the community who aren’t looking for a permanent adoption but want to make a difference in the lives of the animals at the shelter.
“Foster care is such an important part of our organization, and we have so many employees and volunteers take home kittens and puppies to take care of them and give them a home until they are adopted,” Gilson said.
There are opportunities for any person over 19 to become a foster parent by filling out an application on their website.
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“Any of the animals that have been here for 100 days or more are part of our ‘Lonely Hearts Club,’” said Julia Bray, a volunteer and engineering student at Auburn University.
The Lonely Hearts Club animals have a cheaper adoption fee with cats only being $15 and dogs being $25.
“One black cat named Winnie has been here since June, which isn’t uncommon since black dogs and cats are statistically the least likely to be adopted,” Bray said.
Volunteers do a lot of work with the animals to make sure they are socialized, taken care of and loved. Bray’s favorite area is the kitty room because people can sit there as all the kittens crawl on them and they get to pet them.
The dogs get taken on walks in the fenced in backyard play area and bathed by volunteers. However, visitors can take an individual dog on a walk and play with them in the play area, too, and any extra love is appreciated by the staff and animals.
Before leaving the Humane Society, visitors can drop names in the name idea box at the front desk. The staff said they have so much fun looking through the ridiculous name ideas people come up with like Mr. Mint, Eggs and Bacon and Lasagna.
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