Thousands of unwanted pets turned in every year, waiting for a new home and needing your help. The Humane Society of East Texas is calling out to everyone in the Tyler Junior College community to volunteer at the shelter.

One dog that is being nursed back to health by the shelter is a 2-year-old mix named Cinnamon, who was found in early November near the shelter.

When you walk up to the kennel, her eyes are big and show the need to be loved, bones still visible through a skinny, malnourished body wanting to just be walked and cared for.

Humane Society of East Texas Executive Director Gayle Helms said Cinnamon is one example that the shelter cares about nursing sick dogs back to health as well as adopting them. Helms said Cinnamon may have a long road ahead of her but the shelter will be there for her.

“It may take her three months to get her better,” said Helms.

The Humane Society offers volunteer opportunities for people of all ages to help Cinnamon and other animals.

“We have three training sessions a year,” said Helms. “The next one is scheduled for January. We teach them the history of the shelter, and find out why we are here and find out what they are looking for.”

Helms said after a decision made back in September between the City of Tyler and the shelter, the shelter let three workers go, and leaving the organization without income from the City of Tyler.

With the shelter being understaffed, Helms says student volunteers are needed at the facility.

“We need volunteers,” said TJC student and humane society volunteer Cizon Crowley speaking from a weekend adoption event. “Animals just make you feel better. Volunteering just makes you feel good.”

Helms said all of the staff is busy feeding and cleaning cages, and leaving many dogs sitting in the cages just waiting to be walked by volunteers.

“All the dogs want is to be loved and someone to take care of them,” said Helms. “Every one of them will talk to you, and that’s really all they want.” Crowley, a volunteer at the Humane Society since high school said volunteering has its benefits.

“The animals are in this situation and it is great to make them feel comfortable,” said Crowley. “They’re so sad in the cages, and when you get them out you see a different disposition on their face.”

“Even 15 minutes makes a lot of difference with these dogs,” said Helms. “They just need a little T.L.C.”

The shelter volunteer program includes walking pets or participating in the new Humane Education

Program, which tours East Texas schools to educate about animal safety and control.

Since the decision with the City of Tyler, the humane society has a new name, and new hours.

The newly named Humane Society of East Texas will be open from 10a.m. – 1p.m., and 2p.m. – 5p.m.; the shelter will be open only for adoptions on Sunday and closed Monday.

For more information about the Humane Society of East Texas’ Volunteer Program, contact Executive Director Gayle Helms at (903) 597-2471.

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