The private, non-profit humane society in Tacoma provides shelter for animals that come through animal control, but are actively striving to provide additional services to the community.
The shelter has a staff of three licenced veterinary technicians and four veterinary assistants. When emergencies occur, other veterinarians come from different areas and work in the shelter. The shelter was working for five days a week in veterinary care for a time, but this will soon be changed and the shelter will be open seven days a week, courtesy of a new employee.
Besides the staff working at the shelter, volunteer opportunities are being constantly provided to anyone of the ages of 16 years or older. Volunteers are always welcomed by Jocelyn Bouchard, chief operating officer for the shelter.
“[There are] so many volunteer opportunities,” Bouchard said. “Whatever you would like to do, we probably have an opportunity here.”
Bouchard said that any student interested in going into medical, behavioral or animal-related fields would bring good experience to the team. Volunteer jobs focusing on feeding and other forms of caring are available. Jobs range from being a caregiver for cats and dogs to a community cat care specialist.
Another volunteer opportunity is to join the Pets for Life Street Team as a team member. The main goal for the team is to inform the community about spay and neutering, encourage vaccinations and informing customers on welfare of their animal companions. Other volunteer options involve being a phone operator, retail aid or being a part of a laundry folding crew.
The humane society provides spaying and neutering to cats, dogs and rabbits. Residents of Pierce County dealing with low-incomes can receive a discount through the spay and neutering fund. Residents who are in need of dog or cat food can be supplied with food for their pets for a certain period of time from the pet food pantry provided at the shelter. The pets must have proof of being neutered before receiving any free meals.
Community cats — also called barn cats — are feral cats offered to residents for free to eliminate rodents with the possibility of providing company to horses and other farm animals. In order to be able to receive a free feral cat, the shelter in the area of the resident’s home has to be responsible for providing the animal with regular food and water.
The shelter provides other community services such as offering to place microchips in animals or helping to track lost pets.
The Humane Society in Tacoma can be contacted at (253) 383-2733. Volunteer options can be found at thehumanesociety.org.
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