Marilyn Hoyt, a volunteer at the Pasadena Humane Society, tells KPCC about what it's like working with dogs and what keeps her coming back.
This post is part of KPCC's "Season's Givings" series, chronicling volunteer experiences and opportunities during the holiday season. View a full listing of volunteer opportunities and let us know your holiday volunteer story!
Each year the Pasadena Humane Society provides shelter and care for a number of abandoned or homeless animals. In 2011, the organization took in nearly 12,000 animals found in La Canada Flintridge, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Glendale, Pasadena and South Pasadena.
And each year, the PHS reunites over 1,600 lost pets with their owners. One of those owners includes KPCC’s own Patt Morrison, who found her lost dog, Edgar, at the local shelter.
Volunteers are an essential part of the humane society. Currently, the organization relies on more than 400 volunteers to help keep the pets active, assist in adoption outreach, work with the organization's veterinarians, and help out with clerical work.
Marilyn Hoyt, who was 2011's volunteer of the year, has been with the Humane Society for about 3 years.
"Through the years I have been volunteering, there are obviously times when you become very attached to certain dogs … the dog really gets to know you," she said. "They know who you are because they know that you take them for the walks and you give them the treats and they respond to you. That’s a real rewarding part of all of this."
Once taken in, PHS works to socialize their animals to become more family-friendly so they'll be more attractive adoptees. "When [the dogs] get adopted, we all celebrate," Hoyt said.
Find out more about the Humane Society's volunteer program at their website.