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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

MAKE A DIFFERENCE for the homeless pets in our community!

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Wake County North Carolina
Wake County North Carolina
Wake County is located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of July 1, 2019, the population was 1,111,761, making it North Carolina's most populous county as well as the most populous county in the Carolinas. From July 2005 to July 2006, Wake County was the 9th fastest-growing county in the United States, with the town of Cary and the city of Raleigh being the 8th and 15th fastest-growing cities, respectively. Its county seat is Raleigh, which is also the state capital. Eleven other municipalities are in Wake County, the largest of which is Cary, the third largest city of the Research Triangle region and the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Did you know that the Wake County Animal Center takes in over 10,000 animals a year? In addition to our adoption, foster, and rescue/relocation programs, our volunteers have been a key factor in our success.

More than 250 people have already signed up as volunteers in our center. They are present almost every day of the year, including most holidays, to ensure that the animals have all their needs met: physical, mental, social and much more.

During the pandemic shutdown, Meagan Thomas joined our team as the new Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. Meagan has a decade of experience in the dog training/behavior field and fifteen years in the world of animal welfare, working for organizations across the country – including America’s largest animal sanctuary, located in southern Utah.

“Volunteering is an integral part of the Wake County Animal Center and allows us to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of homeless pets each year,” Meagan said. “Our program has been around since 2008. During the 2020 pandemic, we looked at our Volunteer Program – its onboarding process and activities – and found it needed a little overhaul.”

Over the last year, Meagan has worked on revamping nearly every aspect of the Volunteer Program, from onboarding to training and activities. Now that the screening is complete, new volunteers can expect a much smoother onboarding process, with most of the process taking place in the comfort of their own homes.

How to volunteer
The first step is to apply to the program through the Wake County Animal Center website – please also read our Essential Capabilities and Frequently Asked Questions . Once the Volunteer Coordinator has processed your application, you will receive a welcome pack by email with details on how to complete the Virtual Orientation e-Learning Modules, including videos, images and fact sheets on activities, rules and requirements and much more. plus. Once you’ve reviewed the e-learning modules and completed the accompanying quizzes, you’ll be able to sign up for an in-person guided tour. This is also where you will finalize your incorporation into the Volunteer Program and discuss the next steps for the activities that interest you. That’s it, and you are already our new participant in the Volunteer Program!

In addition to streamlining the onboarding process, our activities also came under close scrutiny. Thanks to feedback from our current volunteers, we have expanded our roles/tasks to include the following:

  • Animal care tasks: includes cuddling cats and dogs, walking the dogs, and providing enrichment such as puzzles with food and treat-dispensing toys.
  • Adoption Assistance Functions – Includes matchmaking (adoption counselling), taking photos, writing biographies, conducting personality tests, and training
  • Shelter Support Tasks – If you are unable to volunteer directly with the animals, we also have volunteers who help with general shelter support, such as administrative tasks, greeting center visitors, helping with rabies/microchip clinics, or assisting to community events.

Lastly, to prevent new volunteers from feeling overwhelmed, we have revised our fabulous Mentoring Program. We do our best to match new volunteers with mentors who can help them navigate the Animal Center, remember all the rules and requirements, and be there for general questions and support.

Interested? Check our website for more information. We are always looking for responsible and enthusiastic animal lovers to join our group of dedicated and compassionate volunteers.

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