Volunteer Vibes Blog 3

Maria volunteers at the Huntley Animal House Shelter


M. Loiseau

Maria cleaning dog cages at the Animal House Shelter

By Maria Loiseau

The other day I signed up to volunteer at the Animal House Shelter in Huntley. Honestly, I was kind of nervous, and this was for two reasons; I have a mild allergy to dogs and cats, and this was my first time ever volunteering at an animal shelter. With my waiver sheet in hand, I walked through the doors into practically the unknown for me.

At the Animal House Shelter, there are many options for volunteer opportunities, but I chose to clean cages. This was because it was not hands on with the animals, which really helped with my allergies, and it didn’t require any type of training beforehand.

After I walked into the shelter I handed the woman at the front desk my waiver form, which is a form a parent or guardian needs to sign if you are volunteering and under the age of 18, I walked to the back of the building to meet some of the employees. They brought me to the area where I would have to be cleaning the cages, and how I clean them.

I’m not going to lie, it was really sad walking through the animal shelter, and seeing all the animals without a home. There were two dogs in particular that really tugged at my heartstrings because I was with them almost the entire time. The reason I was with them was because these two dogs seemed to have a lot of anxiety around other dogs, and I was told they weren’t very friendly which was hard for me to believe. 

While I was actually cleaning the cages I was alone in a room, listening to music, talking in a baby voice to my two new friends, and cleaning down the cages with a solution that was a mix of water, dish soap, and bleach. This went on for 2 hours, and it honestly got kind of boring. I understand this work has to be done, but it still was not my favorite thing to do. 

My overall experience at the Animal House Shelter was not one that I would instantly recommend to a friend. I was stuck in a room, with little ventilation and bleach, and I was never “released” per say, I pretty much walked out and went back to the front desk to make sure I didn’t have to do anything else. 

If you would like to volunteer at the Animal House Shelter in Huntley you can go on their website, and under the volunteer tab there will be all the information. I understand not everyone has the time to volunteer often, so you can also help by donating things such as dog or cat food, treats, towels, toys, etc. The one thing I will recommend is if you are looking for your own furry friend, definitely come here to adopt a dog or cat because there are lots of them who need homes.