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A Shelter is as Strong as its Volunteers

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It’s been a very busy six weeks! Our volunteers have diligently been walking the dogs, working spay/neuter clinics, bagging and distributing food at the local food bank, and writing grants!

But as I sat down to contemplate what to write today, it struck me how much we have grown from our humble beginnings three years ago.

In the winter of 2018, we had four volunteers. Our primary purpose at that time was to get our dogs vaccinated and medical care along with providing them each with two walks a day. Of course, finding them amazing homes was also at the top of the list. By the spring of 2018, the number of volunteers had doubled to eight.

But now, as I reflect on all that has transpired since then, it’s a bit…..well…..jaw-dropping.

FOMAS now has a core crew of ten volunteers who clean, feed, and walk/socialize dogs. With the addition of six more volunteers in various capacities, we: transport dogs to medical appointments, regularly hold spay/neuter clinics AND pick up dogs from high-kill shelters, sometimes hours away from being euthanized.

FOMAS volunteers network with other shelters and rescues, research strange conditions (hyperkeratosis?!), and patiently work with troubled dogs to help them feel safe…for some, it’s the first time in their lives.

Our foster care families look after dogs with medical and behavioral issues with the very best care. They feed special diets, administer medication and drive their foster pups to medical appointments. It’s a daunting 24/7 job, but these fosters handle the special-needs pups with expertise.

Hours are spent talking to potential adopters to ensure one of our pups would be a good match for that family’s needs. They also check in with those families after the dogs have been adopted just to see how everything is going.

Many of these same people also work on the physical building. They bring in their own fans and heaters to be sure the dogs are comfortable. They hook up solar-powered lights, donate music, and help keep the building clean. They cook chicken and rice for dogs with upset tummies and collect tennis balls so we never run out. They donate Cosequin, CBD oil and hemp biscuits. And treats. Oh, the abundance of TREATS!!

These are the folks that helped construct the new outdoor kennels and built the new perimeter fence, creating a mini-play yard for the dogs!

We have other volunteers that create beautiful greeting cards, hand-painted birdhouses, and elegant quilts, all for fundraising.

Our volunteers take the shelter dogs for hikes on nearby trails.

They drive dogs out of state to potential adopters.

They write grants.

They treat each dog as one of their own.

SO. This blog post is for YOU, the volunteers of FOMAS. YOU are the HEART AND SOUL of the shelter. YOU are the reason our dogs are so wiggly-happy. YOU are why people feel confident adopting from us. Your work is EVERYTHING.



Linda Brown, Bill Dzuik, Chuck and Bev Dinsdale, Jill Mulder, Paula Wells, Kris Pederson, Kay Fellows, Karen Bernauer, Trisha Greco, Paul Cera, Elaine Finke, Rebecca Anthony, Theresa Crouse, Geri Abrams, Bonnie Vines, Fizz Perkal, Deb Perrero, Mike Rieman, Martha Hallman, Deb Vetterman, Penny McCoy, and ACO Steve Bernauer, who is also an honorary volunteer because of the extra time he devotes to the shelter!