Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, many of whom have spent countless hours of their weekends, days off and public holidays including Christmas and New Year’s Day choosing to spend time with our dogs, cats, pockets pets and the occasional sheep.
One of our volunteers, Julie, has been volunteering at the Home and with the animals for six years. For Julie, spending time weekly with the animals positively impacts her mental health and is the main driver for why she continues to return each week (apart from her obsession with animals ?).
“Volunteering with animals has been critical in managing my mental health. It gives me a reason to get out of bed, to be physically and mentally active which my depression often stifles. Spending time with the dogs engages my senses and requires me to be alert and in the present moment.
The dogs don’t judge me, they don’t care what I look like or my mood. A wagging tail, a sloppy kiss or comforting a scared dog, gives me a reason to smile. Even the hard work of cleaning kennels, washing bowls and having muddy shoes has a grounding, calming effect on me.
Volunteering has and continues to improve my self-worth and confidence. It has given me a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging to the Sydney Dogs & Cats Home community and a sense of accomplishment that helps combat the social isolation of my depression. Importantly, time spent volunteering with Sydney Dogs & Cats Home helps to cancel the noise of my busy brain. It’s time away from my own self-deprecating, negative thoughts.
Being a volunteer with Sydney Dogs & Cats Home has been one of the most impactful and transformative experiences of my life.”
We are eternally grateful to volunteers like Julie, who show up weekly, with a smile on their faces and a willingness to get down and dirty to get tasks done. They show our pets the compassion and love they may not have received previously and are integral in shaping and transforming them from often scared, anxious, reactive, to loving, goofy and bubbly pets.
Our staff and volunteers go above and beyond for each and every pet that comes to us, but as Julie has shared, our pets can do the same for humans, without even knowing.
Thank you Julie for your endless dedication to the animals and Sydney Dogs & Cats Home!
Published 14 December 2022