Janice’s Voice

May 6, 2012

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I moved to Ottawa in 1997.  I quickly learned about a local shelter in Grand Ridge called Pet Project.  Since I always like to support “local” shelters, I began by donating money at Christmas and donating items.  I felt as if my heart would be broken every day if I actually did any hands on volunteering. I did not think I would be able to handle it emotionally.  I started taking some photographs of the animals for a favor for a previous board member to put up on Petfinder.  Started out slow, my husband calls it “mission creep”, and then when I saw how much it helped to have great pictures on Petfinder to draw people in to adopt these amazing cats and dogs, I wanted to get photos of EVERY dog or cat that came through and right away.  I knew the sooner I could get them up on line, the sooner they may be adopted.  Then I realized I had a video feature on my camera and began taking videos.  We got really good feedback from the videos, so I continue to do them for every cat or dog and I really enjoy it.

Of course now I had a chance to interact with all the cats and dogs and got to see what a safe haven Pet Project was for these animals, it became easier and easier to visit the shelter.  I had always pictured shelters to be dark, scary places where animals looked sick and pitiful.  Pet Project is not like that.  The dogs have large indoor/outdoor kennels with comfy beds in them. They also get to go outside in a fenced in area where they can run and just be a dog.  There are also WONDERFUL dog walkers that volunteer that constantly walk them. The cats are able to be loose in the cat room and there are people that volunteer to visit with them and give them the love they need. They have shelves, beds, cat condos and lots of places to nap or just hang out.

Now I enjoy helping out with the adoption events as much as I can, too.  There are some behind the scenes type of things that I do, like call or email people that have adopted pets to see how their pet is adjusting to their new home and help monitoring the Facebook page and email.  So you see there are many, many ways anyone can help and volunteer for Pet Project.  And I would like to say to anyone who is reluctant to volunteer at a shelter, it is the most rewarding experience and to know you helped a dog or cat in some way makes it all worth it.  It is also fun to hang out with people that love animals as much as I do.  I have to say I am so happy I got talked into volunteering at Pet Project!!

– Janice Wolfe

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