Deborah Korell, animal shelter adoption specialist at CVAS, said they utilize volunteers for help with all aspects of cleaning, including disinfecting kennels, doing dishes and doing laundry. “We also have volunteers who like to walk the dogs and get them out for fresh air. When we go to adoption events, such as Woofstock and Dogtoberfest, volunteers help with setting up and tearing down, dog handling and manning the shelter’s booth.”
Having the volunteers is crucial, she says, because the shelter has a very small staff – only two full-time animal control officers, one full-time adoption specialist and one part-time adoption specialist.
“Volunteers are important for the smooth operation of the shelter,” she said “By having volunteers who are willing to clean, this frees up time for the employees to get important office work done. Shelter staff can also focus on scheduling meet-and-greets to get animals adopted more quickly. Volunteers are vital in helping to socialize our animals and provide them with the exercise and enrichment they need.”
Thirteen of the volunteers are regulars and come in on certain days each week to help out in different areas.
The CVAS is run through the Chino Valley Police Department, so potential volunteers need to fill out a volunteer application, which then gets sent to the PD for a background check. If all comes back clean, lead volunteer, Pam, will schedule a time for an orientation with the new volunteers. Orientation takes about an hour and covers safety rules and dog handling at the shelter.
Korell said the shelter is looking for two more dedicated volunteers who are willing to come in weekly on Friday and Saturday mornings to help clean the shelter. “These volunteers need to be self-motivated and pay attentive to detail. We can also use more volunteers for walking dogs. We currently have only a few who can make it in on a regular basis for walking,” she said.
After orientation, volunteers receive more training from seasoned volunteers or staff.
Korell, who has been at the shelter for eight-and-a-half years, said the best part about CVAS is the animals, staff and volunteers. “We have an amazing group of talented, hardworking people who help make our shelter everything it is.”
She has seen many changes, including a new office building, the updating of their play yards from decomposed granite to artificial turf, new front kennel doors and new cat kennels. “A very generous donor left money with which we were able to purchase our shelter van to transport pets to and from vet appointments and adoption events.”
CVAS is a small no-kill shelter. It can only house 12 dogs at a time. Currently, it has nine dogs and two cats. Eight of the dogs are available for adoption.
Adoption fees range from $150 to $200, depending on the age of the dog. Cat and kitten adoptions range from $50 to $115. QCBN
By Stan Bindell, QCBN