Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June's Volunteer of the Month


Cindy has become one of our most dedicated volunteers. Read on to find out why she has such a devotion to our shelter. Thanks for all your hard work Cindy!

What do you do when you're not at the shelter?

I work around the corner on 4th Street at The Gardener. I have always loved animals and grew up with dogs. I am an aunt to many dogs but I do not have one of my own. I like to ride my bike, garden, and listen to music (my partner is a musician.)

I got a degree in Landscape Architecture and one of our projects was a redesign of Aquatic Park. I would come and do field work and I thought that it should be re-named pit bull paradise. I saw all the volunteers walking the dogs and the Bad Rap classes. I got interested in the shelter and the plans for its new location. I think the proximity of the shelter to the park is an asset to both Berkeley institutions.

Why did you initially decide to volunteer at BACS?

I live in Emeryville and ride my bike through Aquatic Park on a regular basis. Last year, my husband, Bryan and I found two chihuahuas that seemed to be dumped under a building in Aquatic Park. I could have grabbed one of the dogs but the other was really afraid. She looked like she might be too scared for me to handle her. So we called animal control and left a message (it was a holiday weekend.) The next day they were open we went to check on the little girls. They were back in quarantine together. They stayed together for about a week and then the friendly one found a forever home pretty quick. I was not surprised she was outgoing and loved dogs an people. The other one (Gertrude) need more time before she found her way into the public. She LOVED other dogs but was scared of people. Every time I came to visit her the staff had her behind the counter. Gertrude loved snuggling with the other dogs and began to tolerate my little visits. She even crawled into my lap once. They finally found her a foster home with another dog. I was so impressed at the lengths that BACS went through to find this timid little dog a place that she could learn how to thrive.

Later that same year I found kitten and brought her to BACS. I was so happy to take this sweet animal to such a caring shelter. I knew that no matter what, they would do what was best for whatever animal came to them. The owner found her there.

I knew I had to give back.

What are your favorite things about volunteering?

This might seem funny, but I love how loose the volunteer program is. If the shelter is open, I am welcome to show up and help out. The rules are clear, the staff is helpful, and I LOVE THE ANIMALS. I have spent more time with the dogs but I love to check in with the cat house. It really is amazing how the volunteers in the cat hose are so dedicated. I love how there are really experienced volunteers around who are always willing to answer questions and give tips.

Another thing I LOVE is helping to find homes for these animals. I told all my friends that I am volunteering at the shelter and to let me know if they are interested. My neighbors Tony and Patrick told me they wanted a black puppy. So I let them know when some animals came available. They adopted Georgia, now Minerva, and they are one big happy family. Minerva lives with a chihuahua, Martini, and two cats, Memnock and Zsa Zsa .

Minerva and Patrick

Who are your favorite dogs, past and present?

Wow, there are so many. I really enjoyed walking Rusty and Fred. I liked the puppy McFee. Right now I am enjoying Aurthur. He and I are training at the BAD RAP classes. In one week we both improved quite a bit.

If I had to pick one all star, it woud be Carla. She was a blast to walk and play with. She is a love and I know she is happy with her new family and her BFF Pete.

Cindy and McFee


Rusty (who is in a foster home but is still up for adoption)

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