Wiping beads of perspiration from her forehead, Marti laughed as she watched Elvis the terrier cross inspect the grounds of the Houston SPCA campus. Holding tightly to his leash, she watches as Elvis bounds around the trees which line the adoption center. Under the heat of another summer morning in Houston, the committed volunteer said the benefits are well worth the sweat equity.
Marti, a retiree who moved from Nashville, Tenn., in January, was looking for a place to make new friends and contribute her experience and resources. She said she found everything she wanted at the Houston SPCA.
“I just know these animals give us so much and we need to take care of them,” she said. “It’s our responsibility. I learned the Houston SPCA was a well-organized agency, and I just decided it was the perfect place to spend my time and energy.”
Marti isn’t alone.
Last year, volunteers logged over 39,000 hours helping animals in need at the Houston SPCA, contributing more than $500,000 worth of services—the work of about 30 full-time employees—in nine separate volunteer concentrations, said Volunteer Services Manager Robyn Gearhart.
Participants who join the volunteer program have the opportunity to work in a variety of roles, from helping in admissions and the adoption desk, to serving in the barn, cattery, small and large dog centers, to even lending a hand in surgery.
Rachel, a senior at Jersey Village High School, said she discovered a calling for animals—and great benefits for her college applications—while working in the large dogs section of our adoption center.
“It has impacted my life completely because I have always loved animals and the ability to get volunteer hours while helping a cause that is important to me is a great thing,” she said.
Best of all, Marti said as a volunteer, she’s benefited personally almost as much as the animals have under her care.
“You get great training and great support from the volunteer management department, there are other great volunteers to meet and work with,” Marti said. “The staff is incredibly helpful, and they are always willing to teach you how to do things in the best possible way.”
“If you like well-run, well-organized, efficient and effective volunteer programs, this is the place to be.”
Please click here for more information on how to become a volunteer at the Houston SPCA. Further volunteer-related questions may also be directed to Robyn Gearhart via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 713-869-7722, ext. 123.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, and able to commit to at least two hours per week for a minimum of six months.
Founded in 1924, the Houston SPCA provides the most comprehensive array of animal adoption, shelter, rescue, rehabilitation and other programs and services in the Gulf Coast area.