Animal lovers wanted

Published 8:53 pm Monday, August 13, 2018

With approximately 53 dogs at the LaGrange Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of LaGrange-Troup County needs more volunteers. Humane Society director Mandi Bono said they have 15 steady volunteers to take care of just their current 13 dogs. 

“We’re putting all of the weight on exercising the animals, vet runs, fundraising, everything on about 15 people to keep the Humane Society up and running right now,” Bono said. “It’s a pretty pressing need to get people out here to help out with exercising the dogs, getting them out of the kennels, helping to socialize them with taking them to and from vet appointments to get the vet care that they need.”

Volunteers also do day-to-day operations, such as fundraising, grant writing and helping upkeep the local society’s website. 

Bono said the local Humane Society will not hold its annual Fur Ball, a fundraiser which provides the cost for the shelter’s services because they do not have enough volunteers to help hold it.

“What we’re doing this year is a modified version of it,” Bono said. “We’re doing a faux fur ball, which is a corporate sponsorship drive, and we’ll have information about that coming out very shortly.”

The Humane Society operates in the same building as the City of LaGrange Animal Shelter. LaGrange Animal Shelter Supervisor Chris Bussey said they do not have any volunteers of their own, and that humane society volunteers help walk and get those dogs out. Bussey said they have about 40 dogs there right now.

“All the volunteer work comes from the Humane Society,” Bussey said. “There’s only two full-time employees here at the shelter right now. It’s just myself and Officer [David] Mixon, and we’re responsible for cleaning the animal shelter and answering calls for service throughout the day.”

Bono said it’s important to have volunteers to get the dogs out of the kennels since the animals stay in them until potential adopters visit. 

“They have all this pent-up energy,” Bono said. “When a potential adopter comes in to see them, they come out completely spazzing everywhere, and they look like they’re just basket cases of an animal. That’s not always appealing to potential adopters.”

Bono said the dogs need to burn off the energy and learn how to behave around humans, and the volunteers play a part in that when they go to the shelter. After being trained, volunteers can visit the dogs anytime the shelter is open, even after the humane society is closed.

“The more that they’ve gotten out, the more that they’ve had a chance to burn off that energy,” Bono said. “And it’s healthier for them to have the exercise on top of the socialization, but that just makes them so much more adoptable when they’re used to being around people. They know how to walk on a leash. They know how to behave themselves when someone comes in, and they don’t jump all over them, especially when there’s children around.”

To learn more about volunteering for the Humane Society of LaGrange-Troup County, or message them on their Facebook page.