This month, our spotlight volunteer is Donna P! Donna began volunteering when her then eleven-year-old daughter was interested in joining our Pet Partners program. For Donna, it was a little intimidating at first—she loves dogs but had never owned one and had little experience handling them. As she continued to volunteer, she started to obsessively read anything she could about dog training and slowly learned the methods that best fit her philosophy.
Less than a year after starting to volunteer, Donna and her family fostered an APL dog with minor spina bifida—he had a crooked spine and back legs. They dutifully returned him after his foster period was done and Donna gave him a week on our adoption floor before adopting him herself! That sweet puppy, Chestnut, loved chasing squirrels, playing ball and going for walks and was very much loved by Donna until his recent passing at 9 years old.
When asked what her favorite part of volunteering is, Donna shares, “Sometimes people ask me if it’s difficult, or sad working at a shelter. And while sometimes it is, mostly it’s really gratifying working with the dogs. I try not to get too caught up in creating a tragic backstory for a dog, and just work with them in the moment. And I am so grateful that a place like the APL exists, where abused and neglected animals can get help, and where owners can responsibly surrender their pets.”
Thank you, Donna, for all of your years of dedication to our animals!