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Local groups, like SPCA, reach out for help

Local groups, like SPCA, reach out for help
Manager Felicia White says finding volunteers to act as board members, help with community events or care for shelter animals is a challenge.
Manager Felicia White says finding volunteers to act as board members, help with community events or care for shelter animals is a challenge.
One of the activities SPCA volunteers might help with is setting up petting zoos, like this one held at the Heritage Acres Fall Fair.
One of the activities SPCA volunteers might help with is setting up petting zoos, like this one held at the Heritage Acres Fall Fair.

Local groups, like SPCA, reach out for help

By Dave Lueneberg
By Dave Lueneberg
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Shootin’ the Breeze Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September 14, 2023
September 14, 2023

It’s no secret that businesses are struggling to find staff, but the same holds true for non-profit groups like the Pincher Creek Humane Society (SPCA), in finding volunteers.

Shelter manager Felicia White says finding volunteers to act as board members, help with community events or come into the shelter to care for the animals is an ongoing challenge.

“We’ve been part of the farmers market with the chamber all summer, and the big thing I’ve noticed with everyone is nobody can find volunteers.”

Part of the reason, she believes, might be the changing family culture.

“I think a lot of it has to do with families needing two incomes to live. And if you have kids, you’re strapped, you have no time.”

But, there’s also a shift in the volunteer culture.

“Our seniors’ generation are the ones that have been part of the boards, part of the businesses and doing the fundraisers,” Felicia adds.

And, now they’re retiring or moving on — in some cases, leaving the community to be closer to family.

 

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“I feel there’s a lot of people that piggyback. So, if we have somebody on our board, they’re also part of the fish pond, the Legion, the Elks or the Lions, and they can’t give their full effort because they’re trying to help everybody.”

As longtime volunteers step away, Felicia is hoping the younger generation will pick up the torch in some capacity.

“For us, we need volunteers everywhere. I kind of get one demographic of people who just want to come in and pet our cats and that’s great because I do need socialization with them,” she says.

But there are other ways to help. The shelter needs foster caregivers and people to walk dogs.

“With that being said, our dogs are not little dogs. Typically, ill-mannered large dogs, which is why we have them. So, a 16-year-old can’t go and take out my big cane corso,” Felicia adds.

That’s not because most teens wouldn’t have the strength, she points out, but because of insurance and liability concerns.

 

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That’s where an older person can step in and help.

With more volunteers, Felicia says the humane society is able to reduce some of its operating costs and, more importantly, avoid “cutting corners” with its animal care, with the money that is saved.

But, while advocating for her organization, Felicia says volunteering is all about the right fit.

“I cannot keep a plant alive to save my life,” she jokes, “so, I would not be a good person for the (Pincher) Planters.”

If you love animals, however, the Pincher Creek Humane Society is looking for you.

Here is the society’s web link: bit.ly/465BuTt.

The Pincher Planters and plenty of other non-profits in the community are also in search of a few good people, many with their own social media pages or websites offering contact information.

One good source to start might be Volunteer Pincher Creek’s social media page at bit.ly/45JcbXR.

It’s no secret that businesses are struggling to find staff, but the same holds true for non-profit groups like the Pincher Creek Humane Society (SPCA), in finding volunteers.

Shelter manager Felicia White says finding volunteers to act as board members, help with community events or come into the shelter to care for the animals is an ongoing challenge.

“We’ve been part of the farmers market with the chamber all summer, and the big thing I’ve noticed with everyone is nobody can find volunteers.”

Part of the reason, she believes, might be the changing family culture.

“I think a lot of it has to do with families needing two incomes to live. And if you have kids, you’re strapped, you have no time.”

But, there’s also a shift in the volunteer culture.

“Our seniors’ generation are the ones that have been part of the boards, part of the businesses and doing the fundraisers,” Felicia adds.

And, now they’re retiring or moving on — in some cases, leaving the community to be closer to family.

 

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“I feel there’s a lot of people that piggyback. So, if we have somebody on our board, they’re also part of the fish pond, the Legion, the Elks or the Lions, and they can’t give their full effort because they’re trying to help everybody.”

As longtime volunteers step away, Felicia is hoping the younger generation will pick up the torch in some capacity.

“For us, we need volunteers everywhere. I kind of get one demographic of people who just want to come in and pet our cats and that’s great because I do need socialization with them,” she says.

But there are other ways to help. The shelter needs foster caregivers and people to walk dogs.

“With that being said, our dogs are not little dogs. Typically, ill-mannered large dogs, which is why we have them. So, a 16-year-old can’t go and take out my big cane corso,” Felicia adds.

That’s not because most teens wouldn’t have the strength, she points out, but because of insurance and liability concerns.

 

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That’s where an older person can step in and help.

With more volunteers, Felicia says the humane society is able to reduce some of its operating costs and, more importantly, avoid “cutting corners” with its animal care, with the money that is saved.

But, while advocating for her organization, Felicia says volunteering is all about the right fit.

“I cannot keep a plant alive to save my life,” she jokes, “so, I would not be a good person for the (Pincher) Planters.”

If you love animals, however, the Pincher Creek Humane Society is looking for you.

Here is the society’s web link: bit.ly/465BuTt.

The Pincher Planters and plenty of other non-profits in the community are also in search of a few good people, many with their own social media pages or websites offering contact information.

One good source to start might be Volunteer Pincher Creek’s social media page at bit.ly/45JcbXR.

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