What do you do when you’re not at the shelter?
I work for a branding consultancy. I was in our Dayton, Ohio office for five years before transferring here in January 2009. Unfortunately I work over in San Francisco during the week so I can usually only stop at the shelter on weekends. I also have a wide variety of hobbies, none of which I really have time for.
Why did you start volunteering at BACS?
My wife Holly and I have two pitty shelter mutts who have added a lot to our lives - happiness, work, and vet bills are three things that come immediately to mind. Dumpy was found cowering in a dumpster when he was about six weeks old which is how he got his name. Ziggy was discovered sitting by the side of the road watching traffic (quietly watching the world go by is a favorite activity of his). While at the vet earlier this year, I saw an ad in Bay Woof that BACS was looking for volunteer dog walkers, and I noticed that BACS is very close to our home. There are a lot of good dogs in shelters, and I like to try to play a small role in helping get them ready to be adopted. I hope that the adopters get as much from their shelter dogs as Holly and I do from ours.
There are lots of places where you could donate your time, why do you enjoy volunteering at BACS?
Many people find the shelter depressing. It can be, because we all know that a shelter is not a good long term solution for an animal and that not every dog is going to be able to handle it. But I find the shelter to be an optimistic place, full of animals who have had a few hard knocks but are keeping their heads up. Because of BACS’ high placement rate, I know that most of the dogs will eventually wind up in a good home, even though some of them have a longer wait. In the meantime, it’s our job to give them some exercise and companionship.
Who are your favorite BACS dogs, past and present?
To be shallow, on looks alone I think Higgins is the handsomest dog at the shelter, and his behavior improved so much. Avea is a favorite of both my wife and mine due to her goofy personality. Despite a long stay at BACS she is always in good spirits, and she also looks a lot like Ziggy. Kirby is a super-nice dog, I can’t believe he hasn’t been adopted. And of course, we miss Carol but we’re glad that she found a home after such a long time at the shelter. She is such a patient dog, every time I passed by her kennel she had a “Yep, I’m still here” look on her face. We just started volunteering in August so I’m sure we missed meeting a lot of good dogs.
Thanks Joel for being such a great volunteer!