What it is like to help at the AAPS
An AAPS volunteer Michelle L., shares her experience…
I am pleased to say my first visit I was pleasantly surprised with my reaction. I wasn’t sad or upset, quite the opposite, I actually had fun doing something I loved to do so much … talk, play, interact and just enjoy the company of animals. They are so happy to see you and all it takes is a dog wagging his tail or giving you a lick or a cat purring when you pat them and suddenly this became an extremely rewarding experience, not the sad upsetting one I imagined all these years! I realised I could never change the big picture, these animals are homeless and what happens is beyond my control but I can immediately have an impact on the quality of their life by spending a bit of time with them whether it be for a pat, belly rub, throwing ball or going on a walk.
Each time I go and each time I meet a new animal I am completely amazed by these creatures and how, given their circumstances, they are living in the moment and still managing to wag their tails. It feels so incredibly warm and special to give these animals some one on one time and just be their friend. I am constantly surprised how their real personality blossoms the moment you take them away from their enclosure and out for a walk.
As the weeks go by I have met some beautiful animals and I always keep an eye on the web site. A hidden reward I never anticipated is reading the words “I have a new home” written next to a dog you were walking the week prior. If I get tears, it is normally tears of happiness hearing my friends have moved to their forever homes.
There is no denying sometimes you see and hear some sad things and I had a little dog recently that broke my heart because he looked so incredibly sad and emotionally empty. That did effect me because I started to think about this little lost soul but the sadness turned to happiness the following day when I checked the web site and saw the magical announcement “I have a new home” written next to this sad boy.
The sad side of a Shelter for me is far outweighed by the happy, rewarding experiences and knowing I can and have made a difference to the unfortunate animals who find themselves homeless is all it takes to keep me going back.