The "+" Stands for Extra Awesome!
It’s a new year and maybe one of your resoultions is to give back to the community. Well you’re in luck, Animal Defense League has a thriving volunteer program and we’re always looking for new recruits! The biggest thing I heard in 2012 was how hard it is to find a place that allowed children. Well guess what parents, the ADL loves its Junior Volunteers! Kids ages 10-15 must be with a parent or guardian volunteer at all times and they not allowed to hold the leash. That was probably the biggest “awwww” I heard in the orientations. I also heard it from one of our former Junior Volunteers, named Caroline. She’s working on her Gold Star Award for the Girl Scouts and she wanted to help me revamp the JV Program. Caroline told me how tough it was a JV watching her mom get to walk the dogs knowing she could do it as well. She pitched me a few ideas and Voila! … JV+ was created! That simply stands for Junior Volunteer … PLUS. Current ADL Volunteers between the ages of 13 and 15 (sorry, 10-12 still needs to follow the old rules) can take an extra class and “rank up” in the program. After a few supervised visits they are allowed to hold the leash and do some things awy from the parents (with them still on property, of course). The program has been a huge hit, with almost 20 members signing up in the first month. It has also shown me somethign a bit unecpected. Grown-ups, cover your eyes for a sec … the Junior Volunteers are simply the best! They follow the rules to a T, work with the dogs and on training and socialization and give me really positive feedback about the program. Okay kiddos, tell the grown-ups they can look again…
All of our volunteers are special and we treasure them all. Without them our dogs and cats wouldn’t be the happy, social and sometimes even trained friends that we know and love. If you’re looking for a place to volunteer, give the ADL a try! If you’re between the ages of 10 and 15 and have been told “nope” by other places … we say YES! And if you’re 13-15, just know that a month after you start volunteering with mom or dad, you have a chance to “rank up” and have a little more fun on your own.
If you are interested in becoming an ADL volunteer, be sure to check out our website at www.adltexas.wpengine.com for more information and to see the calendar for orientation dates. After that, please contact me at email@example.com to reserve a spot!
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