Consider Volunteering at the Animal Shelter

Mia Snow, Staff Writer

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It’s been well established that SHS students need to acquire 50 hours of community service in order to graduate. (Students need to fulfill 35 of those hours in order to purchase a ticket to the junior prom.) It isn’t hard to rack up those hours quickly, as essentially every corner of town is filled to the brim with opportunities. Sadly, however, volunteering can be a rather dull affair.

A couple of years ago, I volunteered at the local Polar Express event in December — children board a train and are treated to a bunch of high school students pretending to be elves. I’m sure there are those who enjoy dressing up and entertaining children, but I had a dreadful time. Evidently, I did not volunteer to enlighten people with my problematic singing — I volunteered for community service hours.

I’m sure there are many students, like me, who would rather be spending 50 hours doing something they actually enjoy instead of doing something they detest. Well, if you’re looking for something more agreeable, why not try the Scituate Animal Shelter?

Let me quickly debunk the myth that you have to be 18-years-old to volunteer at the shelter. You can actually begin volunteering when you’re 14-years-old, meaning that freshmen can begin earning hours at the shelter. You do have to be 18 to care for the dogs, but at 14, you can care for the cats.

The work is not rigorous: You may be asked to assist with dishes and laundry from time to time, but your responsibilities usually include general care for the cats and dogs. Time is split between cleaning/tending to the animals and playing with the animals.

With the shifts only being from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. once a week, volunteering will not take up much of your time. Since this opportunity requires more skill than other volunteer options, small amounts of training are required: You watch, or “shadow,” someone once a week for three weeks, then you may begin working on your own. And if you are still concerned about hours, you can get six hours for the three weeks of training!

SHS freshman Ellie Snow, a current volunteer, says, “You enjoy yourself, you make new friends, and you learn some standard skills. It’s not difficult to sign up. It’s fun–do it.”

Hopefully, those words of wisdom have inspired you to look into volunteering at the shelter. I mean, not many people can be opposed to spending a few hours hanging out with a fluffy kitten.

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