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Volunteer of the Month: June 2017

Ashley Clarke

Every month, Animal Care & Control features a volunteer who's making a difference for the animals at the shelter.

Meet the June Volunteer of the Month, Ashley Clarke.

How long have you volunteered with the City of Fort Worth Animal Shelter?

Right about a year now  

Why did you decide to start volunteering with us?

It all started with my first foster Brody (Tora at the shelter). I went about a week before looking to adopt when I met Brody. I knew I didn’t have the space to adopt a Doberman. A few days later, his time was up and I knew I had to do something. After many tears, I drove to the shelter to pick him up and fostered him. After more happy tears, I knew there would always be another Brody who needed help. Knowing I can’t take them all home, I decided to volunteer so I could spend time with the dogs and see the happiness in their eyes even if it was only for a few minutes. Their happiness makes me happy. 

What is your favorite volunteer activity to help with?  

I’m drawn to the shy and scared dogs. I like spending time with them and earning their trust. I also really like the adoption events because it is a chance to interact with the dogs not in the typical shelter setting. 

What is your fondest memory from volunteering at the shelter?  

When on a day of service with Chili’s and getting surprised with the birthday cake from my coworkers. I really enjoy sharing my love for the shelter animals with my coworkers and it was nice to see the shelter staff happy about cake. They all have a hard job and it was nice seeing them happy as well with some cake. 

What is something you have learned from volunteering at the shelter that you wish everyone knew?

I used to think that I could never volunteer at the shelter because it would be too hard emotionally, but actually doing it I have found some much joy that make the tears worth it. I have also learned a lot from the dogs. Some have been through so much in their life and yet they still can find joy and trust in people. I try to use that in my personal life as well and try to let the negative roll off of me. Even in hard times, I’ll wait for my next “squeaky toy” or “treat.”

What do you do for fun when you’re not volunteering?

Volunteering is my fun! Usually I’ll spend my time with my own dogs at home or working with some of the feral cats around the neighborhood. I like to earn their trust too.