“We don’t use volunteers.”

This was the (rather shocking) response I received when I called my local animal shelter. I’ve lived here for two years and recently decided it’s high time I get involved in the community, as it were. My first inclination was to volunteer for an animal rescue. According to Google, there are none here. Disbelieving, I called the animal shelter or “dog pound” in town, which is allegedly affiliated with the SPCA.

I finally reached someone during their fairly useless business hours (1-5 pm Tuesday- Friday, 1-4 on Saturdays.) I confess, while I didn’t exactly expect the lady who answered the phone to squeal for joy when I explained the reason for my call, I was hoping for a little more enthusiasm than what I got.

“I was calling to see if you all needed any volunteers.” You all  is a perfectly cromulent pronoun in these parts, by the way.

“We don’t use volunteers,” the dismal-sounding voice replied in a tone that hinted at her low estimation of my intelligence.

Taken aback, I fumbled. “Oh. Really? That’s… huh. Well, do you know of any shelters or rescue organizations in the area that might?”

“I don’t reckon. They all closed down.”

I was tempted to tell her that they probably closed down because they “don’t use volunteers,” but I kept my composure, thanked her (only a little facetiously) and hung up.

A few days later, I was cleaning out my inbox and came across a forgotten newsletter from a nearby animal rescue organization. They’re in Grayson, the next county over. Not holding out much hope this time, I emailed whoever mans the website’s “Contact Us” box and offered my services. To my delight, I got an enthusiastic response a few days later. An Ashley promises to get in touch with me after Labor Day, when we will, I hope, discuss me volunteering.  Until then, I will get plenty of practice caring for dogs.


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