By Natalie Park
For my service learning I worked with The Humane Society of Fairfax County. This nonprofit organization works to promote humane education, prevent all forms of cruelty to animals, and assist the community with all matters pertaining to the welfare of animals. One of the main reasons why I chose to work with this organization is because I am an animal lover and I admire what the Humane Society does for animals that need care. I feel that the existence of this organization is important in our community. HSFC takes in and finds homes for unwanted pets that need care. They also have an Anti-Meals Pet Food Pantry program that offers free dog and cat food/supplies to Fairfax County residents in need. HSFC’s Feral Cat Program helps control the numbers of homeless cats through the TrapNeuterRelease project.
The Humane Society works with local schools, communities, and other organizations to provide humane education and promote the welfare of all animals. This is an important aspect of the nonprofit sector because the local community is able to be aware of what is going on around us. Raising awareness is crucial so that we can get the community to be a part of something bigger.
Volunteers have an important role in helping all the animals that are part of the Humane Society’s care. They depend on the volunteers to enhance the lives of cats, dogs, horses, and small mammals that are waiting for their permanent homes. These animals needs daily care and need social interaction, due to the fact that they are confined to their rooms all day until the day of adoption. The volunteers provide support by spending time socializing with the animals that lack care. HSFC has a paper-free tracking program for tracking service hours so that volunteers are able to go in and out freely. HSFC requires volunteers to complete an online application and to attend an hour long information orientation that trains the helpers prior to beginning the service work.
HSFC cannot work for their mission without the help from the community. The donors and volunteers keep the organization going. Humane Society accepts donations from pet care supplies, gifts, and also monetary donations.
My personal experience at HSFC was beyond what I had expected because I personally did not have any experience with nonprofit. Playing with the cats and kittens were the highlight of my day, seeing these animals excited to see me and play with me brightened my day. Each day, I was excited to go back. It made me realize how much love and care they want. I never realized how many animals are in need of a home in Fairfax County. I would definitely recommend for people to adopt seeking for a pet. Working here made me seek other adoption shelters in the area, this experience sparked a new interest in my life.
My name is Natalie Park and I am currently a Senior at George Mason University. I love animals and believe every animal deserves love and care. I really enjoyed working with Humane Society and want to continue doing so following this course.