Volunteers are integral to ensuring the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA remains a progressive leader in animal welfare and in the community. Volunteers play a truly rewarding role as organizational ambassadors.
“My passion and love for animal welfare and the community are why I volunteer at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA,” said one long-time volunteer. “I remember one of my first days… I had just signed in and came out of the volunteer office and a staff member was sitting on the floor with a dog who had recently undergone an amputation. She was cuddling him and I heard the staff member say ‘maybe today is the day you will find your forever family’ and proceeded to kiss the dog on the head.”
“I smiled, and knew at that moment I was going to love volunteering at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA,” they added.
Hamilton/Burlington SPCA (HBSPCA) volunteers are animal welfare ambassadors and play a large role in connecting with the community.
There are many different areas that volunteers contribute to as part of the organization’s day-to-day operations. Some of those areas include:
- Administration: Supporting various departments with data entry, and general admin tasks
- Funds Development: Securing resources that impact the well-being of community members and their pets through events and other business development opportunities
- Companion Animal Hospital: Supporting the medical care of the animals
- Front Desk: Reception and information desk support for visitors with various needs
- Outreach: Supporting community members directly off-site at various partner locations
- Animal Care: Daily cleaning and animal health checks
- Pet Visiting: Sharing your pet with community members to brighten their day
While many people may think volunteering at the HBSPCA means they get to hang out with pets all day, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is exciting and very rewarding. Ultimately, volunteers help provide a better world for animals and the people who love them.
“I began volunteering with the HBSPCA after completing a summer co-op program while I was in high school,” said another volunteer. “I fell in love with the shelter and the welcoming staff and decided to commit to volunteering when they needed some extra hands for the microchip clinics, special community events, and other fun things.”
Volunteering at the HBSPCA can require a level of versatility – going from department to department and being able to work with both the animals and the people that the organization serves.
“There’s a whole other side to the HBSPCA that people don’t always see,” says Mirela Marceta, community engagement and volunteer coordinator at the HBSPCA. “For example, we have volunteers who go from helping with an adoption to assisting in our end-of-life services where they are essentially providing grief counselling to someone who is going through a very difficult time with their beloved pet.”
Volunteers assist in delivering the five animal freedoms that the HBSPCA stands for:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury, and disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviours
- Freedom from fear and distress
Many volunteers describe their time at the HBSPCA as gratifying, fulfilling, and enriching.
“My favourite memories were in the (HBSPCA) hospital, seeing the success stories of animals that were removed from unfit situations and completely rehabilitated to give them a second chance at life,” they said. “Absolutely heartwarming!
More information on volunteering at the HBSPCA and the available roles can be found at hbspca.com/get-involved/volunteer.