State of the Shelter: Shelter looks for volunteers, new hires

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Wally Goddard, an animal handler at the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter, bathes a sick dog being cared for at the no kill shelter for unwanted animals.

(This story by Zack Steen is appearing here with permission of the Daily Corinthian.)

(This story is the third in a series on the “State of the Shelter” — a look at the current issues and goals of the nonprofit, no kill Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter.)

When caring for unwanted animals, it’s finding people to do the job that can be difficult.

For the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter, it’s one of their main objectives as they continue to provide a safe and caring place for abused, neglected, abandoned and injured animals in Corinth and Alcorn County.

People are extremely important to the shelter, according to Volunteer Director Charlotte Doehner.

“We are always looking for volunteers to help us do an endless amount of different things at the shelter,” she said. “The people working at the shelter is as important as the animals we care for.”

Currently the shelter has volunteers all over the United States who do many different things to help.

“We have discovered that people want to help us help the animals we are working so hard to find fur-ever homes for and they have amazing skills and gifts to offer that we never dreamed of,” said Doehner.

Individuals who live locally can volunteer at the shelter and help tremendously, said Doehner. Some of the most important jobs needed at the shelter are quite simple and include walking and socializing with the animals.

“We have a long list of other things we could use,” said Doehner.

Volunteer tasks currently needed include transport drivers and coordinators, grant writers, playing, petting and loving animals, washing and grooming animals, special events coordinator, general office support, community events assistant, facility operations assistant, social media assistant and photographer or videographer.

“We would love to find someone who would volunteer at the shelter taking photos and videos of our adoptable animals and posting them on social media,” she said.

The shelter also welcomes groups who are interested in volunteering.

“Student and company and business groups often visit the shelter to help where needed,” said Doehner. “We partner with one-time or recurring groups for shelter tasks, days of service and special projects.”

Due to a decrease in trustee labor, the shelter also hires individuals as animal handlers.

“In order to run the shelter, we almost always need seven to eight animal handlers on staff and with so much turnover, we are always hiring,” said Doehner. “We would love to find a couple of individuals right now who love working and caring for animals and who need a job.”

The position is part-time with 35 guaranteed hours per week. Individuals begin at $8 per hour and there are opportunities for advancement.

Tasks include cleaning cages, socializing animals, caring for sick animals and other normal shelter duties.

“For someone who loves being around animals all day, it’s a dream job,” added Doehner.

Foster parents are also a volunteer-based opportunity where the shelter needs help.

“We can always use more foster homes,” said the director. “We have dogs and cats in need of foster homes from puppies and kittens to seniors, small to big, and everything in between. We pay all approved medical expenses for our foster animals. We ask only that our foster homes care for the animal and help us make the animal a well-adjusted family pet, as well as help us decide which adopter is the right one for their animal.”

Foster homes get first “dibs” on the animal if they fall in love, said Doehner.

“We value our foster homes highly and work with them regularly to ensure the animal is doing well,” she said. “There is a short application process that individuals must complete before discussing the facility or home situation that matches the right animal with that foster.”

While the animal is with the foster, shelter staff make drop in visits and follow-up phone calls to ensure the animal is safe.

(To volunteer, foster or donate, visit corinthalcornanimalshelter.com or contact 662-284-5800. Individuals interested in applying for an animal handler position should contact 662-284-5800 or visit the shelter at 3825 Proper Street in Corinth for an interview.)