If you love dogs and live in Alachua County, then you are really missing out if you aren’t volunteering with Alachua County Animal Services. We are so lucky to have an animal services that is devoted to the welfare of their animals and allows as much volunteer involvement as possible.

Unlike private rescues who take dogs as they have room, Animal Services can never turn a dog away. Staff works hard to make sure that dogs get the enrichment that they need, but there are always so many dogs at the shelter. You can make a real difference in these dogs’ lives by volunteering with Animal Services.

Whether you want to play with dogs at the shelter, take dogs out for the day or the weekend, or foster, Alachua County Animal Services has it all.

I had so much fun watching new volunteers get involved at our last volunteer orientation this past Saturday. After volunteers got the rundown about how everything works at the shelter, they were broken up into groups so that more experienced volunteers like myself could show them the ropes.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll stay on your feet, but we can guarantee a good time!

It was so awesome watching people take initiative, open kennels, and get involved. Many volunteers were astounded by how differently dogs behaved in the kennels and in the play yards. Dogs who seemed aggressive behind the bars are suddenly sweet with people and dogs alike. Dogs who seem fearful and shy in the kennel become social butterflies in the yard.

Before I knew it, my little group of volunteers was leading dogs all over the facility, playing with them in yards and even giving them baths. It makes me feel amazing to know that so many people in our community care about these dogs and want to get involved.

Follow Alachua County Animal Services on Facebook, call at 352-264-6870, or email kwilson@alachuacounty.us to find out about the next volunteer orientation, and all the great ways that you can get involved.

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