With a paw stretched out from the cage, a little dog called out to an SOU volunteer with the hope of being adopted and just looking for some love.
Friday afternoon ‘Show Some Love’ by the Civic Engagement program introduced student volunteers to the Human Society in Medford. The students worked on volunteer projects and then had alone time with the animals for the last hour.
Judi Hanstein, volunteer coordinator for the Humane Society explained that their dogs are given to them because they were in neglected homes.
“We give them a second chance,” Hanstein said, emphasizing the point that they do not euphonize their animals.
An SOU van drove a handful of students to help the Humane Society paint two rooms that would be used as a quarantine room for sick animals. The students splashed on the yellow paint in high spirits and sang songs loudly to keep themselves occupied.
“I liked all of it, I got to know a bunch of people, its just one of those feel good projects,” said Marissa Christensen, a freshmen theater major.
The students were then able to go into the play yards and interact with the dogs and were given alone time with puppies. They were able to finish off their time in the cat room and finally had to paint one last room of the day.
Participant Melissa Butkov had volunteered with the Humane Society over the summer and was experienced with how to handle the dogs.
“I have a great love for animals. I can’t keep dogs in the dorms, so I thought this would be a very fun way to spend time with the animals,” Butkov said.
Butkov was apart of the ‘Pals’ program, which are classes that train a volunteer how to handle animals and is given one on one time with their assigned pooch.
“It was amazing, I know its good for the dogs but I loved coming here every day, it was almost therapy for me,” said Butkov.
Ross MacDougall, a freshman, bonded with a large dog with black and tan spots, sporting a bright orange collar, named Gary.
“Gary seems to like me the most,” MacDougall joked as he scratched the ears of his favorite dog, “we seem to be the most mutual friends.”
Cerrisa Payment, civic engagement coordinator, felt the Humane Society was popular among students.
“During Civic Engagement Day the Humane Society was one of the first to fill up, students just loved it,” Payment said.
“It felt good to do something with my Friday,” confirmed MacDougall.
Hanstein was glad that the students came on a Friday to help paint the new rooms for the animals.
“I think the best thing we can do for our community is have the involvement of all age groups, including students at a college level,” Hanstein said, “we’re making them change their lives, that’s what we did today.”
Even through the smell of cat litter and the echoes of the barking dogs, students still enjoyed themselves.
“It makes you feel good about yourself when you’re done cause you feel like you helped. Painting was kind of like the work part but then we got rewarded by seeing all of the dogs, cats and puppies, that was really neat,” Christensen said.
After all the hard work and relaxed time with the animals, the students returned to SOU, after a long goodbye with the animals.
“My favorite part was the doggie I met – she was a sweetheart,” Christensen said.