Often our clients and friends ask about our travels and our house and pet sitting experiences and we thought that a blog would be a good way to share our stories both past and present.

We have met and made friends with some lovely humans, canines and felines over the past 5 years and we hope that you enjoy reading about our pet sitting and house sitting experiences as much as we enjoy regaling our "tails"!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Volunteering with the SPCA

Link to SPCA -Parksville & Qualicum Beach

We have been on Vancouver Island for just over two weeks. Time enough to suss out some good walks, where the shops are and what is in our immediate vicinity.

Whilst walking our 'foster' dog in one of the many community parks on Vancouver Island, we spotted a notice asking for volunteers to help with the SPCA. This is the Canadian equivalent of the RSPCA in the UK. We spoke to the co-ordinator Caroline, and signed up for an Orienteering session which was held today.

Our local branch of the SPCA is at Parksville, a short drive from our house. We arrived at 10.30am to find that there was an amazing turnout of 12 new volunteers. The co-ordinators were over the moon with such a response, if not slightly embarrassed that there were only two dogs in the centre to be walked at the moment.

It is obviously a good thing, but a bit ironic, as all through the summer when there have been loads of 'inmates' there has only been one poor volunteer to walk all of the dogs by herself.

After filling out a Volunteer Agreement and Release form, we were shown around the centre. There is a volunteer room, where we have to sign in on arrival. There are notices and sources of information about the centre and up and coming events etc.

We were then shown where the cats are housed. They each have a compartment with fluffy cushions and pillows. They have a separate room for them to be let out and played with.

There is a food preparation area with all the different pet food and all sizes of feeding bowls.

We were then shown out into the yard, where there are individual dog kennels and pens in a row. The two residents today were Dacota, and Richard. Dacota, a sort of wolfhound, had only been in for a short while but Richard, a huskey, was a long term resident, being at the centre for over 6 months. He has been re-homed but brought back due to his barking.

We were shown into a small room next to the kennel area which is called the chill out room, where the dogs can be brought in with their volunteer just to chill out and relax, as they would get the opportunity if in a home. The volunteer can groom them, or just read a book, whilst the dog has some down time, away from his kennel.

There is also an outside area, where the dogs can catch a ball, or do agility training etc.

The orienteering session lasted about an hour and half, and after being given some forms and contact information we all left.

Tracy and I are now awaiting an email from the co-ordinator to enable us to put our names on the rota for next week, when we will be paired up with a buddy volunteer who will show us the ropes on our first visit.

We are happy to help out where ever the need is greatest so we won't know until next week what we will be doing.

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