Lending a Helping Paw

Volunteer at Belleville Area Humane Society. Photo from bahspets.org

Giving back to the community feels good, and what better way to give back than by spending time with animals.

Belleville Area Humane Society gives people the opportunity to help animals through volunteering or fostering.

Volunteers are able to go to the shelter, where they can take part in many different tasks with the animals.

BAHS staff member, Amanda Roos, says volunteers are very helpful when it comes to getting things done.

“You can clean kennels, you can socialize with kittens and cats,” Roos said. “We have other volunteer opportunities, like dog walkers.”

All volunteers go through orientation to get them acquainted with the facility and animals. Orientation also helps introduce the different volunteer positions available.

One of BAHS’ foster families. Photo from bahspets.org

Another way to help out is through fostering.

“Our fosters are wonderful volunteers for us, who open up their homes to take animals,” Roos said.

Fosters at BAHS are now more important than ever.

BAHS staff Melissa Janes says fosters provide a home in case staff get sick and can’t come to the shelter to care for them.

“The most crucial right now due to COVID is our foster program,” Janes said.

For those interested in fostering the first step is to fill out a foster application. Staff will then review the application and reach out to you to talk more about the process and potential foster animals.

“We do everything we can to make it a fun process for everybody that meets them where they’re at,” Janes said. “How much time they have available, what animals and children they have in the home.”

You can also let BAHS know if you prefer long or short-term fosters, behavioral or medical fosters, and what kind of animals you are interested in fostering.

After submitting their application, fosters are able to go to the shelter to meet potential foster pets. BAHS staff may reach out whenever they receive animals that need a foster home as well.

Once you are matched with an animal and able to take them home, BAHS will provide you with all the supplies you need. This includes food,collars, leashes, toys, litter boxes, litter and more.

Roos says BAHS likes to provide these items to their foster volunteers to help make the process as easy as possible.

“Our fosters really enjoy the experience,” Roos said. “The feedback we’ve received back from our fosters has been positive.”

If you’re looking to lend a helping paw BAHS has these two purr-fect opportunities for you!

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