Whether you can donate an hour, a day, a week or a month, your help is very much needed. You will find it to be a very rewarding experience. Give the gift of love and of yourself to the deserving animals at Almost Home. If all you do is walk a dog or scratch a kitty behind the ears, that animal will appreciate the love and attention. The following is a sample of just some of the types of help we can always use.
What could be more rewarding than bringing joy to an animal!
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VOLUNTEER APPLICATION & RELEASE FORM
1. Click here to view and print form.
2. Fill out and sign the form.
3. Mail completed form to:
Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County
29 Stagebridge Road
Lovingston, VA 22949
Attention: Lynn Fontana or Astrid Brock
Business Management & Administration Skills Needed...our mission attracts Board Members and volunteers who love animals, and enjoy being involved in animal care, dog walking, fostering, transporting, and adoption outings. As we have grown, so have the demands of managing the business side of our affairs, essential for getting the absolute most from our resources. If you have a background in business management and administration, and would like to apply those skills to helping the animals, please contact Randall Phillips at 434-263-8254 to discuss needs and opportunities.
Thrift Shop Volunteers Needed -- to restock merchandise, help with processing donations, "roaming Gnomes" to help our customers and keep roaming items in their places. The volunteer can "adopt" a department and come in at their leisure to maintain it. Please call 434 263-8777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dog Fosters – Animal control is full of very nice adoptable dogs – please help us find foster homes so that we have time to get them adopted or transferred. If you are interested in helping out, please call Almost Home (434-263-7722) any weekday afternoon and ask for Sigrid.
Kitten Fosters – The Northeast Animal Shelter in Boston (where we transport many of our cats) is only interested in kittens between the ages of 4-6 months. The additional time we will need to hold the kittens to prepare them for travel will require additional foster homes. If you are interested in helping out, please call Almost Home (434-263-7722) any weekday afternoon and ask for Sigrid.
Adoption Event Volunteers – We always have more animals that would love to attend adoption events than volunteers to take them. Most of the events we attend are pretty fun to begin with so adding a “loaner dog” just makes them that much better! Carpooling is available from Almost Home for most events. If you are interested in helping out please call Denise at 434 981-7538 or email her at email@example.com for more information.
OTHER IMPORTANT NEEDS...
HELP NEEDED AT OUR SHELTER! If you love playing with cats and kittens, and have a couple hours to give of your time any morning, we'd love to have you as part of the team. We are looking for a volunteer to help clean cat cages and cat rooms. Rewards of this job include self-satisfaction, good conversation with other cat loving individuals, free cat hair to decorate your clothes, and constant purrs and body rubs by thankful adorable cats and kittens. Call our shelter and ask for Bonnnie 434 263-7722.
EBAY EXPERT – Are you an experienced ebay-er with some spare time? Our Thrift Shop posts many of the great items it receives on eBay. If you’ve got the skills this is a great way to make a huge contribution to the financial well-being of all the animals in our shelter. Please call Kathy at the Thrift Shop (434-263-8788 or 434-263-4884) if you can help.
Volunteer with bookkeeping experience
is desperately needed to help our Treasurer with paperwork...familiarity with Quick Books a plus. Contact Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adoption Support - volunteers need at Almost Home during adoption hours (from 1-4pm), primarily on the weekends, to assist potential adopters as they tour the facility and meet the animals. Call Astrid at 804 761-1386 or email her at email@example.com for more information.
FOSTERING ANIMALS -- Call Almost Home (434-263-7722) any weekday afternoon and ask for Sigrid.
Foster care families are needed for dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens. Foster care is typically for short periods. It could be a few days, or, in some cases, a month or more. The need for foster care can be broken down into the following situations:
- Animals transferred to us from Animal Control. These animals will be sent to a rescue organization on the weekend. This is often the shortest foster duration. Volunteers interested in this assignment will ideally help with transport (to the vet, to meet the transport van, etc.). Transport day is usually an early call (i.e., 5:00 a.m.).
Litters of puppies that will be transferred to Massachusetts. This transport occurs once per month. The foster care person is responsible for taking puppies to Almost Home or a vet for shots, worming, and health certificates before the puppies can go out of state. Foster care givers can expect to have the puppies for 2-4 weeks. However, this can be longer if a puppy or puppies have or develop a health issue (i.e., parvo, mange, ringworm, etc.)
Special needs animals. This is often a longer assignment and can include an animal that is expected to have a lengthy recovery from some type of surgery, or an animal with behavioral issues that could benefit from a family setting.
- Litters of kittens, pregnant cats, and mothers with young kittens. Twice a year, we have a kitten “bloom” and struggle to accommodate the increase in cats and kittens coming into the shelter. As the population increases at the shelter, so does illness among the cats. If our cats are sick, we cannot secure homes for them on a timely basis. Again, foster homes are the answer.
- Hound Foster Hounds Needed - Animal Control & Almost Home are flooded with hounds. While hounds are incredibly affectionate and willing learners many have never received individual attention or training. Foster care provides them the opportunity to work on their house manners and makes them more adoptable. Please contact Bette at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to help.
- Short-Term Fosters – there are times when Almost Home and Nelson County Animal Control become overcrowded. In many cases the overcrowding can be resolved by getting the most adoptable dogs into foster care for about week before transferring them to another no-kill shelter. This is a great way for people who don’t trust themselves to give their foster animals back to make a big difference! Please let me know if you can help.
ANIMAL CARE - Call Astrid at 804 761-1386 or email her at email@example.com for more information
Animals need to be fed, watered, walked, play with, socialized, groomed, trained and taken on outings.
There is an almost daily need for transport services. We have long-haul and short-haul requirements, but the weekly trips to and from the vet are where we have the biggest need and shortfall. Lack of help in this area requires our managers to do the transporting, taking them away from their responsibilities at the center. With the increase in rescue activities, there is also a rise in weekend transport.
BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS
Help always needed to spruce up our grounds.
COVERAGE AT THE ALMOST HOME ADOPTION CENTER - Call Astrid at 804 761-1386 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
The past two or three years have been marked by a shortage of help at the center. This is especially true on the weekends. We need reliable, consistent help with the following:
Climate controlled area needed – In order to continue spaying & neutering feral (wild) cats during the winter months (the best time to lure them into traps with food) a climate controlled area is needed to shelter the cats during their brief recoveries (2 days for male cats, 4 days for females) from spay / neuter surgeries.Heated garages are ideal.This is a short-term commitment – for more details contact Gretchen at 434-263-7722.
Office duties: answering phones, filing, etc.
Cleaning cat and dog rooms
Cleaning carriers and the van after transports and clinics
Interviewing adoption candidates
Grooming: giving baths, brushing/combing
Dog walking and training
Taking Photos of Animals for Website
Shopping for supplies
…the list goes on
This operation is largely being pulled off by a small handful of people. While I am not fully aware of what this enormous effort entails, I think it’s safe to say that it involves much of what I have already described: short-term foster for animals awaiting placement in other rescue groups, and transport to those rescue sites (New Jersey, New York, Mass., etc.). This is not accomplished without the interaction at Animal Control, the vetting process, and volumes of paperwork that must be completed. None of this happens without the coordination needed by telephone and email which takes hours to nail down.
FUND RAISING AND ADOPTION EVENTS
- Organizing events
- Help setting up at the event
- Walking dogs at event…the more volunteers we have, the more dogs/cats we can bring
- Help with adoption paperwork
Trapping services – We need at least one additional person to trap and transport feral cats to clinics and pre and post surgery holding locations.
Transport Check-in – We need one back-up person for clinic check-in. This person would be responsible for processing paperwork and collecting money for each animal. They would also need to assist with loading animals on the spay/neuter van. Check-in begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 a.m.
Transport Pick-Up – We need a back-up person to handle the returning spay/neuter van. This involves helping unload animals, giving post-surgical instructions to pet owners, and processing paperwork.
OUR MOST CRITICAL NEED IS for volunteers For Post Surgical Care -- We require one or two locations where trapped cats can recuperate for 1-4 days after surgery. Persons willing to provide this care must have a climate controlled area or building (i.e. garage or shed) where these cats can be kept and cared for before returning to their colony.
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