Congratulations to Bonnie H., nominated and chosen as the February 2019 Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) Volunteer of the Month.
Bonnie Didn’t Know What to Expect
Even with a lifetime of experience working with horses and dogs, Bonnie didn’t know what to expect from volunteering at Multnomah County Animal Services until one of her clients at the Lake Oswego Starbucks recommended it to her. Bonnie was initially surprised to learn that MCAS is an animal sheltering facility with adoptions and a robust volunteer program.
Bonnie has filled many roles in her eleven years as a volunteer, including dog walker and foster volunteer. Since 2013, Surgery Assistant is her role of choice. Many are unaware that all adoptable animals are spayed or neutered on site at MCAS in an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital prior to adoption, and Dolly’s fund for medical care provides for emergency medical treatment and surgeries as needed.
Bonnie Comforts Recovering Animals
Bonnie says her volunteer role is very educational, she loves the veterinary staff at the shelter, and loves to be a part of the surgery recovery process. Waking up from surgery can be stressful for animals, and Bonnie likes to be present to help calm and reassure them with touch, to keep them warm, and monitor their condition. The surgery suite includes multiple warming pads in kennels, and microwavable heat discs, but Bonnie insists that she’s the best warming resource available for the animals, “especially if they’re little- awwww- I’ll just warm them right up.” Bonnie’s other duties include sterilizing and preparing surgical linens and instruments, the surgery preparations of shaving and cleaning the patients, and anesthesia monitoring.
Jacque D., a Certified Veterinary Technician who works with Bonnie, says “Bonnie spends her Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with us in surgery. She has us laughing and cracking up constantly! She is so dedicated to volunteering that she even makes sure her vacations don't interfere with her volunteer days. She loves a good makeover challenge with the shaggy, matted dogs and makes them look good and most importantly- feel good again. She has even fostered animals overnight who had a long or difficult surgery just so they could have a nice recovery night in a home.”
Bonnie’s advice for those interested in volunteering is to come to MCAS, or any animal shelter. “Spend some time there, and look at all the animals to see what they’re feeling, and what’s going on. You’ll find that many are fearful, and it’s important to be patient. Even the nicest adoptable animals can be scared. Go slow with them. Resist the urge to pick them up, pet them, and kiss them on the face. Give the animals some time to warm up to you when you’re meeting with them in the shelter, or later in the home. Give them a warm place to adjust. Let them choose when they’re comfortable with you. When they start wagging their tail, you know they’re ready. Hold out for the attention and work with their timeframe. If you wait for it, they’ll give it.”
Thank you, Bonnie, for your dedicated, positive service for the people and pets of Multnomah County!
Thank you to our stellar volunteers nominated for the February 2019 Volunteer of the Month!