Departments > Code Compliance > Animal Care & Control > Volunteer

May 2020

Lauren Gazelka

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, Lauren Gazelka.

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

I’ve Been volunteering at the shelter since September 09, 2019.

What volunteer positions/duties do you do for the Shelter?

I have done dog walking, assisted with the fostering program, cleaned cages, and worked mobile adoption events. Many times I go in for an “Up for a Challenge” shift.

What do you like most about volunteering for the FWACC Shelter?

To be able to give a little extra love to animals who are in need. And the staff is helpful and friendly in all locations - it makes it easy to spend time volunteering at FWACC Shelter.

Are you from Texas—if not where?

I have lived in Texas pretty much my whole life.

What did you do/do you do for a job/career?

I am a supervisor at Target (been with the company going on 18 years) and recently embarked on the journey of going back to school to get my veterinary technician degree.

What pets do you have? Tell us about them.

I currently have three 2 yr. old cats - Oscar, Bucky, and Ellis (brothers), a bearded dragon - Liam, and a couple of fish tanks.

What are your hobbies or interests? What do you like to do for fun?

I am typically a homebody! I enjoy entertaining and being entertained by my pets, catching up on shows from the DVR, spending time with my family, and getting outside and enjoying fresh air (when the Texas weather is not too crazy).

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

That any time that you give as a volunteer is so worthwhile - anything you can do will help the staff maintain their day, because it can get hectic at times. And any love and attention that you can give to a shelter animal will only further help them in their journey to finding a forever home.

What advice would you give to volunteers who have just started out?

If you’ve never been in a shelter setting, don’t get overwhelmed. It can get loud, it can feel hectic. Ask questions, and just know that you are helping animals in need, as well as helping the staff balance everything they need to do to help care for the animals. Fort Worth is a large city, and the shelter unfortunately reflects that. But FWACC steps up and does an amazing job in making sure that the animals within the city are taken care of.

10. Anything else you would like to share or have people know about you?

I can’t really think of anything.