Our volunteers are as unique as the animals awaiting adoption at our humane center. At the Richmond SPCA, it is refreshing to see youth volunteers who have shown an interest in animal welfare at such an early age. Some of our youngest volunteers participate in a service club called Animal Brigade, which provides an opportunity for middle school students to learn the significance of volunteers to organizations like the Richmond SPCA and the importance of humane education in the community.
Each Saturday, students between 6th and 8th grade from all over Greater Richmond come to the Richmond SPCA to volunteer and learn about animal welfare. The students participating in Animal Brigade meet on alternating Saturdays to volunteer in several capacities. They often clean areas in our humane center, like the Track and Training Center, where training classes are held, and our Catillions, where some of the cats awaiting adoption at the Richmond SPCA reside. Animal Brigade students also lend a hand in our laundry and grooming rooms as well as in kennel areas.
These students quickly recognize the amount of the hard work that goes into maintaining facilities at the Richmond SPCA. A favorite task among the students involves cleaning our living rooms, which house dogs (and sometimes cats) awaiting adoption. Although cleaning isn’t always a glamorous job, these young volunteers find fun in being part of the animals’ daily routines and contributing to the great care they receive while awaiting new homes. After cleaning the rooms and picking out clean bedding for the animals, they enjoy playing with the dogs and cats, who are delighted to have such enthusiastic and helpful visitors.
In addition to the cleaning and organizational assistance provided by these students, the Animal Brigade participants also create fliers, posters and brochures to promote the livesaving services provided by the Richmond SPCA bringing attention to adoption, animal welfare andand the services of our Clinic for Compassionate Care. Throughout the semester, these students learn the role of these services in creating a more compassionate community that values animal lives.
Many of our Animal Brigaders even assisted at the Richmond SPCA’s 13th Annual Dog Jog and 5K run. Before the event, the Animal Brigade students created uplifting posters to go along the course for the 5Kdesigned to cheer on the runners. Some Animal Brigaders also contributed as cheerleaders and course marshals.
The Richmond SPCA is lucky to have such an enthusiastic group of young volunteers who are not only passionate about helping the animals in our care, but also informing their peers about the importance of animal welfare.
For more information on our Animal Brigade program, please visit richmondspca.org/animalbrigade.
Shane Clements is the Richmond SPCA's volunteer and programs assistant. To read the biographies of our regular bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.