Volunteering at the Pet Placement Center

One of the perks of working at Papercut is an annual allowance of volunteer hours to use when and where we choose. If you’ve read Jamie Ann’s post about volunteering at CADAS, you know this already. Well, I love animals, and when I saw a Facebook post last week that the Pet Placement Center needed volunteers to walk their dogs, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some of those hours.

The Pet Placement Center is operated by the Tennessee Humane Animal League, and it’s the oldest no-kill shelter in Hamilton County. The shelter operates on donations and fundraising, and it relies on volunteers to help with a variety of duties, from administrative work to fostering animals.

Why I Volunteered

Evidently, the Pet Placement Center has had an issue with flooding in a portion of its outdoor shelter space for some time. Last Friday, they lucked out and had a group of Army recruits that came and installed a drain tile. They knew that many of the dogs wouldn’t tolerate the noise and extra activity well, so they were looking for volunteers to go walk some of their residents at Greenway Farms out in Hixson while work was being completed. Sign me up!

Meet Meryl

My designated walking buddy for the day was Meryl, a sweet, spunky Jack Russell Terrier mix. Meryl’s two puppies, Sallie Mae and Navient, were also part of our walking group that day. The crazy thing is, they are actually already bigger than she is!

I loaded Meryl into my car to head over to Greenway Farms, and she was so well behaved. She was very excited to be out of the shelter, but she just sat in the passenger seat and smiled at me—never jumped, crawled around, or barked. She was inquisitive on the walk and wanted to stop and sniff everything, just your typical dog. I think she’d make a perfect pet for someone who’s active and can take her on good, long walks. If you might be interested in adopting Meryl, check out her listing here.

Meet Valentino

Thanks to the Pet Placement Center for this pic of Valentino!

All of the dogs we had in our group that day were sweet and completely deserving of good homes. Valentino, however, is a special little guy and I wanted to put the spotlight on him in this post, too. He is one of the Bradley County rescue dogs. If you live in the area, you may remember hearing about this on the news. Last summer, SPCA volunteers rescued 237 dogs from a hoarding situation, and 20 of those made their way to the Pet Placement Center. Valentino was one of them, and shelter employees think he was likely used as a breeding dog because of his beautiful coat.

When I visited the shelter, the director told us that all of the dogs they took in from Bradley County were kind and never showed any signs of aggression, but they were all scared because they grew up in cages and knew nothing of the outside world. That’s the case with Valentino. When they brought him out, he trembled and shied away from anyone who tried to pet him. However, when he was out on the walk, he was a different dog—sniffing, investigating, smiling, and lying in the sun. He would make a wonderful pet for anyone who has a little extra time and patience to devote to a dog that needs to let you earn his trust. This June, he will have been at the shelter for a year. I hope he finds a home soon! He sure was a sweet boy. If you’re interested in Valentino, check out his listing here.

Adopt a Shelter Pet

The Pet Placement Center has lots of sweet dogs and cats that are looking for good homes. If you’ve got room, consider adopting a pet from an area rescue. We’re a bunch of animal lovers here at Papercut, and several of us have rescue dogs (I’ve got two of my own). What they say is true—shelter pets are the best pets. If you decide to take one home, you won’t regret it!

And if you can’t adopt, consider donating to a shelter. Money, food, toys, and cleaning supplies are always appreciated and go a long way in making the animals comfortable.