High Sierra Animal Rescue puts out the call for volunteers

High Sierra Animal Rescue (HSAR) is excited to announce that they are completely open to volunteering again, both inside and outside the building.

Crescent was found as a stray and is pregnant, so High Sierra Animal Rescue made the trip to pick her up and bring her to a safe, loving environment while she gets through the rest of her pregnancy. Photo by Lassen County Animal Control

“We are currently in the process of trying to revitalize our volunteer program to get wonderful people, just like you, back at the rescue and helping dogs find their forever homes,” said Ben Steele, shelter manager at the rescue.

There are a lot of opportunities around the rescue to get people involved and ultimately, to get these loving dogs into their forever homes. Those new to volunteering with the rescue will initially be asked to put in some time helping around the shelter in other ways aside from training and walking dogs. This helps staff to get an idea of each volunteers’ skill set and gives the volunteers a chance to get a sense for the tough work that is animal welfare.

After five hours of initial volunteer work, volunteers are invited to take High Sierra Animal Rescue’s dog handling/training course. “The course will show you how to walk dogs on leash properly and teach them how to do it, master basic commands, and get their brains working hard,” Steele explained.

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After 10 hours, the rescue invites volunteers to start taking dogs on off-site field trips or help out with their adoption process. Volunteers also earn the official HSAR volunteer shirt after 10 hours to let people know how committed you are to helping rescue dogs find their forever homes.

Early each week, HSAR will be sending out an email to the volunteer mailing list, requesting help with specific tasks that will come up during the week. “If you can help with one of those tasks, just call us in the office and let us know your availability to make it happen. If not, you are free to ignore the email and we will hopefully see you next time you have some availability,” Steele said. The rescue is also utilizing their Facebook page as to let volunteers know where they need help. Coordinators will regularly post here when an opportunity arises to get your hands dirty with the dogs or wherever the shelter beckons.

For those that might have some spare time to volunteer, Steele invites them to just call the front office before coming over and “we will let you know what we might need help with that day.” If the rescue doesn’t have anything specific to do, they might just ask you to hang out in the front yard with some dogs for extra outside time. “Even just being outside and interacting with our dogs in a controlled environment is essential to helping them release some of that energy and stress,” Steele said.

Requests and needs for the upcoming week

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During the upcoming week, there are a variety of needs at High Sierra Animal Rescue. One urgent need is a foster for a very pregnant mama dog, called Crescent, who looks like she is going to pop soon. “We are wondering if any of our volunteers could open their homes for approximately two months as this momma gets her babies ready to go into their new home. If interested in this opportunity, please call the office, and ask for Ben,” Steele said.

Chores include giving dog baths with a full doggy bathtub set-up, shampoo, and towels, as well as needs such as file boxing. “Over the past year we have gone digital and our old paper files are taking up some space in one of our closets. We are looking for someone who wants to spend some time in the back office putting our old files into boxes and moving them outside,” Steele said. Other needs include tasks such as adoption material preparation and dog toy sorting.

“There are many ways to get involved and if you are unsure how you can help, just give us a call or stop by and we can discuss what might work best for you,” Steele said with a smile. “We hope to see you out here soon as the state and the country begin to reopen. We are fully open for volunteers and will be opening back up to the public on June 15.” For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Shelter Manager at High Sierra Animal Rescue Ben Steele via phone at 832-4727 or via email at [email protected] or [email protected]. You can also visit High Sierra Animal Rescue’s website by clicking here.