Volunteers Sharing Love

November 4, 2021 | Blog

At IndyHumane, we rely on volunteers for all kinds of tasks. They help us exercise and socialize shelter pets, keep our facilities clean, and help with fundraising and events like Mutt Strut. Barb Bush has been volunteering with IndyHumane for 10 years as an Advanced Canine Companion, working with our special pups in our enrichment program. “In 2011, we lost our 15 year old dog to cancer. It was unbearable to be home without her when I came home from work each day, so instead, I decided I would volunteer for a few hours in the evenings and on weekends to spend time with the dogs there. It was so beneficial to help me get through the loss of my own dog, and help other dogs who needed a friend, too. A year later, we adopted our current dog, Sunny!” 

Sunny was even named Top Dog of Mutt Strut in 2015, as Barb was the highest individual fundraiser for the event that year! Barb also received the Mari Hulman George Volunteer Service Award at Mutt Strut 2020 for her dedication to helping shelter pets on their journey to forever homes. That year, donated more than 2,000 hours of her time and talent to IndyHumane.

“Volunteers help the animals in so many ways: they provide daily exercise by walking or running with them; engaging their brains with puzzles, toys and working on commands and tricks; helping them become comfortable with humans if they’ve experienced a difficult past; teaching them manners by working on jumpy/mouthy behaviors; giving them baths or brushing them if they need a spa day; taking them for a nice long break on a field trip or car ride; fostering them to give them a break from the shelter; or simply sitting with them quietly, petting and talking to them, providing a peaceful moment and showing them compassion and love.” 

“I always tell new volunteers to never be afraid to ask for help. We are there as a team, to help the animals, and to help each other. I enjoy showing new volunteers some good practices that I have learned over the years, and partnering with them if they need help. Many people who find out that I volunteer at IndyHumane say to me “I could never do what you do, it must be so heartbreaking”. But it’s not. The dogs and cats at the shelter are so well cared for, given a warm, safe bed, fed a good meal, provided with medical care and medication they need, and treated with dignity and respect, with so much love. It’s so rewarding to be a part of such a wonderful organization.”

Interested in donating your time and talent to IndyHumane and being a hero for homeless pets? Learn more about our volunteer programs at indyhumane.org/volunteer.