All the young volunteers got to take a tour of the building. Our tour guide for the first day was Ms. Claribel. She showed us where the grooming room was for the animals. The animals have their own living room! Big soft leather couches are available for them to lounge in. The living room is a place where dogs and cats can roam free. (one cat and on dog at a time, unless they are relatives).
We were shown how to make “cat Boxes” or litter boxes and “busy boxes” (boxes stacked like Russian Dolls but filled with treats). As part of our training, we went outside and Mrs. Claribel showed us where the dog parks and colonies were. The PSCPA have created their own park with dog toys and even slides the smaller dogs like going down. . She even showed us where the barn and horse stable was. If an occasional cow, goat or pig ends up at the PSPCA has a home here.
Someone told me that recently an abandoned horse was brought in and he was taken right back to the barn to be shown loving care.
Part of our volunteer training was how to handle cats. We learned how to read a cat’s behavior. A cats pupils will dilate if he becomes excited or sometimes wants to attack. For example, if a cat sits in the back of the cage, or inside of its litter box it is stressed. Or, if a cat rubs its body against the cage, then it wants to be scratched and rubbed. But, sometimes a cat will try and play hooky with you and try to scratch you. We learned how to pick animals up and how to carry them in cat carriers. We even learned how to speak to a cat! If you use a soft and sweet, voice most cats will come around. If you use a harsh voice towards a cat a cat may attack or isolate himself.
Our final orientation class was Dog Handling. I learned how to open the dog fences and escort them in and out without getting jumped on or bitten. We learned how to talk to the dogs to calm them down. Again, s peak in a sweet, soft voice. You have to let an upset dog know you mea n them no harm.
Noelle was a pit bull mix. Housed d at the PSCPA when I was a trainee volunteer. She was a large, beautiful gray 5 or 6 year old pit bull who was sweet and gentle. I never saw her act aggressively towards anyone. Or nip at anyone.
It was fun to help walk the dogs. Ms . Jenn, our volunteer Coordinator paired me up with a buddy so we could walk a dog together. It was one of my classmates from William L. Sayre high school. He no longer goes to my school but we had that bond.
We walked a dog named Linda and she was a mixed pit-bull terrier. She was nervous and almost peed on his leg! But, it was a lot of class fun. After we finished walking the dogs, Ms. Jenn called all the volunteers together to congratulate us all on completing the dog class. This led to six months of learning and growing with the animals and learning how to help give them a chance for a better life and home which they all deserve.
My last day at the PSPCA was fun and sad. My fellow junior volunteer, Carly and I had to clean out the whole garage that had cat carriers in it. Then we had to clean the cat carriers. I also went up to the administrative office to help my mentor file some papers. After I completed my work there, she gave
me a lot of materials for my portfolio.
Volunteering at the SPCA was a wonderful experience for me. I learned so much about how to care for animals and how to show I care about them. They remember care and they remember love. Hopefully, they can take tie love with them to their new homes and find even more love waiting for
I learned the ins and outs of the building and I had so much positive work experience there. After I graduate from high school, hopefully, I can pursue a job at the SPCA as a vet assistant. The PSPCA volunteer program in Philadelphia inspired me to be a vet! But, until then I will continue volunteering at the PSPCA . There is always something new to learn about an animal brought into the PSPCA.