Every month, Animal Care & Control features a volunteer who's making a difference for the animals at the shelter.
Meet the May Volunteer of the Month, Laurie Gautreaux.
How long have you volunteered with the City of Fort Worth Animal Shelter?
Been volunteering at the shelter since January 2019.
Why did you decide to start volunteering with FWACC?
I originally came into the shelter in June of 2018 to adopt a dog. I had seen a post on social media that Paige King had posted and began to follow her. There was several dogs that I had interest in doing meet and greets with. When I arrived at the shelter my heart broke seeing all the hundreds of dogs wanting nothing but to be shown a little love. Soon after that I began to foster a precious dog named Elektra. For months I would come into the shelter and just walk up and down the isles talking to the dogs. One day one of the awesome staff members approached me and said they always saw me there and said I needed to become an official volunteer. And from there my awesome journey began!
What is your favorite volunteer activity to help with and why?
I love to PAL! Seeing how happy the dogs get when they see me coming makes my heart happy! All I want is for them to know that they may be in a shelter but they are truly loved!
What is something you have learned from volunteering at the shelter that you wish everyone knew?
I wish everyone was aware of the overcrowding that the shelter faces almost every day. If only everyone would take the opportunity to volunteer just one time I truly believe things would change.
If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?
Every dog in the shelter would get adopted by the best family ever! Backyard breeding and animal fighting would end! I would win the lottery and could buy a lot of land and start my own rescue. Oh no can we make it 4? Lol…. I need people to stop discriminating against bully breeds!
What’s an ideal weekend for you?
I am a store manager in retail so sadly I work every Saturday. I get one weekend off a month so I use it when events are scheduled at the shelter. On Sundays, I typically go to the main shelter and then go up to Alliance. I also spend any extra time with my dogs. My ideal weekend would consist of dogs, dogs and more dogs! Lol…
What are your top five favorite movies?
Green Mile, The Color Purple, The Help, Fried Green tomatoes, Beaches
What advice would you give to volunteers who have just started out?
When new volunteers start out at Alliance first of all I want them to feel comfortable and welcome. I think it’s important for them to know each animal is different and needs to be treated as so. It’s important to realize that not all animals like all other animals and there needs to be boundaries when interacting them. They should all be kept at a safe distance from one another until you become comfortable with a specific animal and know their behavior. And never do something that they feel uncomfortable doing. Dogs are smart and can read your body language. Most importantly have fun!
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