I have been an animal lover ever since I begged and cried my way into my first kitten as a little girl. Walking along a path at my grandparent’s farm, I just couldn’t leave the tiny, stray kitten to fend for himself. Socks was his name, and he was my best friend. Since then, many animals have come and gone in my life, but their memories have not. Animals give us so much more than we will ever realize, and that compels me to give back to them.
Walking through the doors at the Atlanta Humane Society, there are animals that are scared, excited, or just aloof, but they all have one thing in common; an open heart. Some come from homes that can no longer care for them, some from homes that did not care for them, and some that have never had homes. The greatest thing about animals is their ability to forgive and forget. That is instantly apparent with the animals at the Atlanta Humane Society. Once they are shown a little TLC, they will melt your heart. Not all animals are the same, and some may take a little more time than others, but they all deserve a chance. I believe animals are very much a product of their environment, so give them the right environment, and they will thrive.
I have volunteered with the Atlanta Humane Society since 2007. I am currently a pre-vet student at UGA so I am unable to volunteer consistently, but when I do, it is incredibly rewarding. Too often, I find myself saying, “I don’t have time,” but then when I do volunteer I always end up asking myself, “Why don’t I do this more?” Being around these wonderful animals that ask for nothing, but offer so much gives me perspective on how I want to live my life.
If you have not volunteered with animals before, I whole-heartedly recommend it. You may go in thinking you are helping the animals, but you will come out feeling like you were the one that was helped. If you do not live close to the Atlanta Humane Society in Atlanta, a new location will be opening in Alpharetta later this year. There are also many other volunteer opportunities all across the city so get out there and get involved - you won’t regret it!