Becoming a FOTAS volunteer is a rewarding New Year’s Resolution

Volunteer Madeleine Burgoyne hugs Dozer as she meets and greets visitors in the shelter lobby.

by Bob Gordon, FOTAS Director of Communications

Have you finalized your list of New Year’s Resolutions? Today is the day to do it. After recovering from champagne hangovers and binge watching college bowl games, many of us traditionally use this holiday to do an internal audit on our lives. How can we improve ourselves? What new goals should we set for 2017? It is an opportunity to refresh our outlook and follow new paths.

With that in mind, why not start off the new year by doing something wonderful for homeless animals in need? FOTAS needs volunteers at the Aiken County Animal Shelter and giving even just a little of your time to these unwanted dogs and cats will greatly benefit both you and them.

Six Benefits of Volunteering at the Shelter:

1. Helps socialize animals and increases their chances for adoption. When animals arrive on the adoption floor, they need human attention and love. Some are recovering from surgery, many are suffering from separation anxiety and all of them are wondering why their lives have suddenly been turned upside down. When you spend even just 15-20 minutes with one of these poor animals, it does wonders for their self-esteem. Most importantly, walking and spending time with them improves their mood and makes them more adoptable.

2. Shakes up your daily routine. Sitting at home in front of the TV can get boring and leaves many of your talents untapped. But when you are at the shelter helping out, it is rarely routine. You are always facing fresh challenges, meeting new people and working with a variety of canines and felines that need your love and attention.

3. Provides exercise and reduces stress. Spending time with the shelter animals is the perfect prescription for better personal health. Walking the dogs will get your heart pumping and some volunteers say the added activity has helped them lose weight. Plus what can reduce stress better than hugging a sweet dog or cat?

4. Expands your social circle. Volunteering is a terrific way to meet great people who share your same passions and interests. Everyone on the FOTAS volunteer team is here because they love animals and are on a mission to find them loving forever homes as quickly as possible.

5. Teaches you about animals and how to manage them. All of our volunteers attend a short orientation that includes lessons on how to handle and attend to the needs of dogs and cats. Spending time with so many different animals in the shelter makes you better appreciate their unique personalities and gifts. This experience can also strengthen your resume if you are looking for work or applying for college since most organizations value candidates who volunteer in their community.

6. Makes you part of a very special team. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of the Shelter. Without their hard work and commitment, the dogs and cats would receive less one-on-one attention and the staff would lack needed support. In 2016, more than 5,000 animals came to the shelter as strays or were surrendered by their owners. To effectively manage these kinds of numbers, more volunteers are needed every day.

If you are interested in joining the FOTAS team, please contact us at 803.514.4313 or volunteer@fotasaiken.org.

Their lives are in our hands…

Volunteer Madeleine Burgoyne hugs Dozer as she meets and greets visitors in the shelter lobby.

Volunteer Madeleine Burgoyne hugs Dozer as she meets and greets visitors in the shelter lobby.

Volunteer Karen helps out during a FOTAS Dog Ears Reading session. This recurring event gives children an opportunity to read to the shelter animals.

Volunteer Karen helps out during a FOTAS Dog Ears Reading session. This recurring event gives children an opportunity to read to the shelter animals.

by MartinTest