The old proverb “it takes a village” to raise a child could also be applied to animal rescue. It takes a village to help an animal in need. And our volunteers populate that village. Dedicated men and women who turn out every day to walk our dogs and spend time with our cats and rabbits.
Members of our “shy dog” classes meet every Monday night to rehabilitate dogs rescued from hoarding situations and puppy mills. And while trainer Mary Remer instructs dozens of our volunteers in the gentle art of massage therapy in order to build confidence and make these animals more adoptable, our grooming room is a buzz with the sound of electric razors. Volunteers clip and shave the new arrivals – tails wag as matted fur falls to the floor. Under Judy Holmes’ leadership, volunteers with Wash’n Wag bathe hundreds of dogs in our shelter every month. After exploring the 58 acres of Pickering Meade Farm, our dogs can get mighty dirty and it takes a mighty effort from a group of dedicated individuals to keep them clean.
Throughout the week, members of HOPE provide advanced training to volunteers wishing to work with special needs dogs, and at the same time numerous adoption counselors (again volunteers) patiently work with families, introducing them to suitable candidates. Once a lucky dog or cat is chosen, other volunteers conduct the required home visits (over 2000 a year). Our more “sensitive” dogs are delivered to their new homes by members of our all volunteer STORC program to ensure the smoothest of transitions. If the dog is a former puppy mill dog, the volunteers of Lisa Fischer’s very successful Over the Mill Gang will provide support and offer advice to new parents.
As for our cats and rabbits. Volunteers who prefer a feline friend to a canine consort spend many an afternoon brushing and playing with the cats on MLAR’s communal cat porches. And Sister Mary Teresa and her team have created heaven on earth for our rabbits and work hard to make sure all the residents of our small mammal room enjoy their time at Main Line Animal Rescue.
Volunteers also write letters and call their legislators to push through new laws protecting animals in Pennsylvania. A single voice can be drowned out by the sound of a massive political machine, but hundreds of voices speaking out in unison can sway legislators and improve the lives of countless animals. And the only thing more effective than our advocacy programs are MLAR’s educational and outreach initiatives. Volunteers visit schools teaching humane education, while still others organize off site adoption events and distribute literature promoting shelter animals.
Main Line Animal Rescue’s volunteers do everything from transporting and photographing our animals for our web site to bottle feeding newborns. They help maintain the grounds of our beautiful facility in Chester County and man the silent auction tables at our various fund raisers. We are confident MLAR has a volunteer opportunity that fits your lifestyle and will no doubt make a great difference to an animal in need. When our volunteers walk into our shelter at 10 o’clock every morning, dogs and cats alike stir with excitement. They see familiar faces and know there are people in this world who love and care about them. It does take a village and together we can accomplish so much on their behalf. Please consider volunteering today.
Volunteers are elevated over time to our more advanced programs based on experience and time spent at MLAR. Not every volunteer can do everything but every volunteer can do something.
If you are interested in learning more about the volunteer program at MLAR please fill out the application and you will be invited to our next “Meet and Greet”. Volunteer Application Form