Pet Adoption League | Teen Ink

Pet Adoption League

November 15, 2015
By writer-violist DIAMOND, Jenks, Oklahoma
writer-violist DIAMOND, Jenks, Oklahoma
63 articles 4 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I volunteer at a PALS branch where I live because I love helping adoptable dogs and cats find a home where they can live peacefully and happily for the rest of their days. I don’t volunteer just for service hours; I volunteer because I love what I do. I love seeing the sure gladness and smiles of the dogs and cats finding a forever home with a smiling human.

PALS stands for Pet Adoption League. The Pet Adoption League is a no-kill, non-profit organization. They have rescued, lost, unwanted, neglected, and abandoned dogs and cats in their wonderful care. It was dawned in 1991. The Pet Adoption League’s goals are to give dogs and cats special care, another chance at life, and to find them a perfect forever home where they can live happily and be well taken care of. PALS provides food, water, haircuts, attention, training, spaying, neutering and other healthcare to all pets that live at PALS until the pets find a loving household and family. PALS wants all pets to find a great home and to give them the best care possible.

There is never a time limit on how long the animals can stay at PALS. The dogs and cats stay until they get adopted. The workers and volunteers at PALS also help the animals build back their trust to humans because they are often shy and some animals were abused by humans. PALS helps the animals come out of their shells and learn to trust others again. All animals from PALS have an adoption fee. The fee covers all the money that was put into them. This is how PALS stays nonprofit. The PALS dogs and cats are showcased at pets stores where people can come, look at, and adopt pets. The PALS branch who I volunteer with has a special, distinct feature. They put handkerchiefs on the dog’s necks to go along with the holiday, season, or just because. The Pet Adoption League is a superb organization because they give back to the animals that have so wonderfully loved us.

Pet Adoption League is ever so important to me because it is such an amazing organization dedicated to helping dogs and cats get adopted. Many animals throughout the world are abandoned and put through hard trials. PALS gives them everything they need to find a forever home and to give them another life. PALS is meaningful to me because I help dogs get adopted. I am nice to dogs help, get them anything they need, and play with them. I also help dogs and cats get adopted.

I learned about the Pet Adoption League through a school club I’m involved in called Key Club. Key Club is an organization dedicated to doing service for both the school and the community. My Key Club branch had a volunteer fair during one of the first meetings of the year. I heard someone saying loudly, “I am not even going to try to sell this project to you. All you do is get to play with dogs the whole time.” I immediately was interested in this project because I love dogs even though I don’t have a dog. I figured that I would enjoy spending my time with dogs. Once the blank signup sheet was posted, I signed up for many Saturdays because I knew that I would love volunteering for the Pet Adoption League.

The first time I volunteered was Saturday, September 5th. It was a warm and crisp, ecstatic sunny day with a few pillow white clouds in the sky. My Mom dropped me in front of the pet store and I slowly walked inside. Immediately, I inhaled the smell of animals and pet food. I could smell the compassion in the air that the pet store provided for the animals. I was joyful, excited, and ready to help a great cause. I was eager to learn and help in any possible way I could. After asking a saleslady, I found that PALS was in the back right corner. I signed in at the little, dark blue pull-out drawer stand and slapped a cute PALS volunteer name tag on the top of my Key Club T-shirt.

The women running the adoption were cordial, warming, and welcoming. They told me that I could take a dog out. The problem was that I didn’t know how to put a leash on a dog because I didn’t have any dogs at home. One of them in a majestic purple PALS shirt kindly showed me to make a “p” shape with the choke after it was clipped onto the leash and how to slip it over the dog’s head before it dashed out of it’s crate. I thanked her and took out a Bordeaux mix dog which was brown and had beautiful sea blue eyes. It was calm and I could tell that he would like to take a walk. The dog’s name was Scooby, also known as Bubba. It wasn’t hard walking Bubba at all because he was tranquil and very friendly. I walked him the the grass stretch along the side of the building and back through the pet store. Bubba and I walked backed to the corner and I put him back in his crate.

Throughout the day with the other Key Club volunteers, I continued to take out little dogs and large dogs. It was amazing. I loved spending time helping dogs and taking them out to use the restroom and to stretch their legs. I could tell that all the dogs really appreciated it. The three hours of volunteering seemed to fly by and before I knew it, my shift was over. After I finished volunteering, I smelled like dog and had white dog hairs all over my shirt from a sweet dog named Browser. Before I got into my Mom’s car, I tried to get all tiny hairs off but it was no use. The dog hair was staying with me. Once I volunteered my first shift with the Pet Adoption League, I knew that I wanted to volunteer every Saturday. However, I knew that this wasn’t possible because there are only four Key Club members that can volunteer for one shift and many people wanted to do the PALS project. I had so much fun on my first day and I felt that I had a specific purpose to take the dogs outside, walk them, and sit with them.

For three or four weeks consecutive weeks, I spent most of my time with a Heeler Mix dog named Browser. Browser is a cherishingly white color with subtle, sprinkle brown spots and cappuccino brown on his head. He is a large, broad dog and he loves to lay in anyone’s lap that he can find. He is like a petite dog shoved into a large dog’s body. Even though he doesn’t fit the best, he loves to lay and sit in my lap and peer at pedestrians walking around the petstore or outside. I sat with sweet Browser because he enjoyed laps and at PALS we had enough volunteers that I can just sit with him, keep him company, and talk to him. One instance, a lady in charge asked me to sit with him. I agreed quickly because I thoroughly enjoyed sitting with Browser. I love Browser because he is a box of chocolates that never stops giving. He is always so loving and he delights in being pet over and over again. As families walk around the petstore and outside, they laugh and point to Browser sitting in my lap and come over to pet him. I tell them that the beautiful, sweetie pie dog’s name is Browser and also that he is really soft. Everyone agrees as soon as they touch Browser’s delicate fur. Browser sitting in my lap attracts people to come regard him and possibly even consider adopting him. A few weeks ago, Browser was adopted into a warm, loving, and forever home.

When I wasn’t sitting or walking Browser, I was sitting or walking another dog. There are many dogs at PALS and they all love to get out of their crates use the restroom and to stretch their legs. I walked large dogs such as Scooby and a black labrador retriever with a white star on her chest named Hope. I held a tiny white chihuahua named Alice. She always wore a retro-looking bandana around her tiny neck. I held her close because she shivered sometimes. Alice was adopted into a great and loving family. I also sat and held a red fox colored chihuahua named Piggy. Piggy always jumped on and played with a caramel colored dog named Traveler.

As friendly people walked by and shared grins with the dogs, I told them about the dog’s personality, such as they weren’t the best with small children or if one of them needed to be the only dog in the household. I always said that any dog was sweet because it was the truth. The people would pet the dog and listen intently. I knew that in their minds, they were contemplating and deciding if this was the dog for them. If someone was interested in a certain dog, I would  find one of the women in charge because they know about the dog’s past and what special care they need. They also give the adoption forms to the people genuinely interested in adopted the dog or cat. Knowing this, I made a difference. If I wasn’t volunteering and the people interested in the dog decided to walk away because they could not find someone in charge, then the dog wouldn’t have adopted or considered by them for adoption.

When I had a dog out, I made sure to be personal. I talked to them because I believe that it helps sooth the animal when you tell them that they are a good boy or a good girl in a sweet, honey-like voice. I told the animals that I hoped they would get adopted soon. I loved the pets. I hugged them and was happy around them. I pet their unique, attractive fur on their kind bodies.

There were two cats at PALS. They were both an orange-yellow tabby cat. One of their names was Garfield. He really did look like Garfield; just a lot thinner. Often, the two tabby cats would meow for the first twenty minutes when they arrived at the pet store before they curled up in a ball to sleep. When they meowed, I tried to comfort the them by rubbing their fur from the outside of the crate. I couldn’t take the cats out because cats don’t use leashes and if I held one of them, they could jump out of my arms and possibly run off. I spoke soothing words to try calming them down. I was trying to comfort them and I think that I helped even in the slightest way. Garfield the cat was adopted by an amazing person about a month or less later.

One of my favorite things to do at PALS is to give the dogs treats and to watch other people give them treats. The dogs suddenly perk up and their eyes get big. Some of them even sit for a treat. One fuzzy dog named Ruffles with bluish grayish fur has a sweet tooth. A tad bit on the heavy side, Ruffles never turns down a treat. She sniffs around for eternity to find the tasty treats and she just loves eating them. She burns most of the treats off because she likes to take many walks.

As I was volunteering, I met the pet’s needs. I got specks out of their fur if there was any. I made sure to walk them near the bright pink plastic water bowl to see if they were thirsty and wanted a drink. I made sure that their choke was in a “p” shape and not a “q” shape so it wouldn’t be tight on their necks. When I was volunteering, I wasn’t just playing with dogs. If one of them peed in the store, I went to the accident station and got towels and spray and cleaned up the affected area of the store. That wasn’t the most fun thing to do at PALS, but I knew that some dogs are shy and some just use the bathroom when they get excited.

I learn so much while volunteering at PALS. Every time I volunteer, I learn something new. I learned how to put a leash and a choker on a dog. I learned how to put a leash on the harness and how to handle dogs hands-on. I learned that caring for a dog is a lot of work. I learned that animals are even more amazing than I thought that they were and that having animals is a blessing.

Meeting new people and learning new things was awesome Usually, I am quite a shy person around people I am not familiar with. I quickly became confident about what I was doing. I learned that one of the volunteers had been volunteering for seven years. I knew that I wanted to volunteer any time I could and for as long as possible because helping animals get adopted is one of my fierce passions. I love learning new things and helping out a great cause.

Volunteering at PALS affected me in a deep and positive way. It made me feel like I was really helping. I could tell that the dogs were genuinely happy I was there for them. I was keeping the dogs company so they would not have to sit in the crates. This made the dogs happy. When they saw you coming near their crate, some of them would sit near the door or jump around like a jumping bean. They were always ready to go out, exercise and walk around.

While helping at the Pet Adoption League where I live, my perspective changed on how I view the world. I appreciate animals more and I can see behind the scenes for an adoption. It made my extensive love for animals grow deeper. Also, volunteering at PALS changed others. It made the women in charge’s job much easier. They would not really have to walk the dogs and worry about them being thirsty because then other volunteers and I were taking care of all those things. The ladies in charge could focus on people interested in the dogs and cats and make conversation about adoption. They could also make sure that everything was going and working properly.

Helping at PALS makes my day. I know that my volunteering at PALS is impactful. The dogs were in a better mood and looked happier because they got to go outside. This made them energetic and awake, ready to play and for people to see them and adopt them. The dogs were not tired so they were happy to lick someone’s hand and be playful. I helped take off the scariness of all the people, other dogs, cages, and the pressure from the dogs because it made them feel more secure.

Every time I volunteer with the Pet Adoption League, I know that my hours, minutes, and seconds are never wasted helping dogs and cats with anything they need.

The author's comments:

I encourage you to check out the Pet Adoption League and to make a difference! Thanks for reading this! God bless! :-)

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