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Meet some of our volunteers and find out what their role entails and why they enjoy volunteering for Lort Smith.

Grace Pavone and Harley - Pet Therapy volunteers

Grace volunteered with Lort Smith for about four years with Albert the Airedale who retired around 2005. She then resumed volunteering with her new dog Harley in 2013.

What does a typical volunteer shift involve for you?
Grooming Harley, preparing his treats, portable water bowl and Lort Smith bandana. Preparing my appearance in order to reflect and represent Lort Smith Animal Hospital to the best of my ability.  

Together we visit the residents at Parkdale Aged Care. There we have a staff member guide us to residents who are known to like dogs and those who look forward to our visit and/or the ones who are feeling well enough that day to welcome a visit. The staff member carries a bottle of disinfectant so the residents can rub hands after petting Harley or giving him treats.

What is the best thing about volunteering with Lort Smith?
1) The lovely and wonderful people at Lort Smith (in all areas).
2) The faces that light up when they see Harley. A couple are especially happy when we do a few little tricks like 'shake hands' or 'high five' or 'kiss' which is a little lick under my chin.
3) I leave knowing we have put a smile on many faces - residents, family members and staff.

What is your favourite memory from your volunteering?
With Harley there is usually something memorable on every visit, but especially memorable was a resident at Kingston who would sing to him. At Parkdale facility he's known as 'happy, handsome Harley'. We would like to thank shopkeeprs in Mentone and Parkdale for allowing and welcoming Harley into their premises plus friends and neighbours for supporting Harley's happy and sociable disposition. 

Jaimie Le Page - kennels volunteer

Jaimie has been volunteering with Lort Smith since August 2013.

What does a typical volunteer shift involve for you?
When I arrive I see who has been adopted during the week and who is still available for adoption, while making sure their enclosures are clean and they have fresh water. We then try and walk as many dogs as we can during our shift. Sometimes we take them ou to the yards for a run and to play with a ball. I then assist the staff by bringing the dogs back inside and disinfect the outside yards ready for the next day. I then finish up my shift by spending some time with the dogs in their enclosures, making sure they have all received some TLC.

What is the best thing about volunteering with Lort Smith?
Seeing the enjoyment the dogs in the shelter get just from some attention and a walk. Also, seeing the dogs go to a loving forever home, especially when they have been in the shelter for some time.

What is your favourite memory from your volunteering?
Seeing how happy Daisy (a dog who was initially quite shy around new people) was to be going home with her new family after being at the shelter for a couple of months. It was nice to hear updates of how she was going and see photos of her settling in with her new best friend.

Clare Condos - kennels volunteer and foster carer

Clare has been volunteering with Lort Smith since 2013.

What does a typical volunteer shift involve for you?
In the kennels I do the afternoon shift. First I check to see what dogs are in and who has already been walked. I give them all a pat and a cuddle then start taking them for a walk. Sometimes the volunteers help with cleaning the yards, but mostly it is hands-on play time with all the dogs.

I have fostered three times so far; three 7-week-old puppies who were bundles of pure joy, a 7-month-old staffy who needed to have injections weekly, and a post-op case who needed confinement and rehab walks twice daily.

What is the best thing about volunteering with Lort Smith?
There is not just one thing. The Lort Smith staff are wonderful and make volunteering so enjoyable. Playing with the dogs gives me the fix I need since both my dogs Walter (17 yo) and Winston (15 yo) have passed away in the last two years.

But most of all it is so rewarding just to sit in the enclosure and play with each dog and see them benefit/surrender/relax with a pat and tummy rub.

What is your favourite memory from your volunteering?
Fostering Stella, the 7-month-old staffy for two months. She went from a skinny, itchy, hairless and sometimes scared little girl to a confident, friendly and beautiful looking dog; the change was so great that some didn't recognise her! She was my first 'big' dog so it was a great learning experience for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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