By Shelbe Hunsaker
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters every year and of these animals only 37% are adopted. There are about 13,600 animal shelters nationwide, one of these shelters is recognized in the small community of Marshall, Missouri.
The Marshall Animal Shelter is home to many stray dogs and cats. This shelter is all based on volunteering and fundraising to keep these animals off the streets. The volunteers at the shelter clean, feed, water and groom these furry friends. But there are also a few Missouri Valley College animal lovers that just go to help out.
Taylor Kean, a senior at Missouri Valley College, spends her free time interacting with the dogs and cats that live at the shelter. She believes that these animals need all the help they can get, in order for each of them to find a loving home.
“I go to see the animals.” Taylor said. “The more you go and interact with them the more likely they are to get adopted.”
Taylor believes that she has a huge impact on the animals and the shelter as a whole. The more people that go and interact with the animals the better off they are. When Taylor goes to the animal shelter, she plays with the dogs in the pin and the cats in the cat room. Her ultimate goal is to make these animals more appealing so people will come to adopt them.
“You love on them and then an animal that was once scared is friendlier and has a better chance at getting adopted,” Taylor said.
Taylor talks about a certain stray puppy. A white puppy came in and had to get his shots. “He was just not very happy and kept growling at everybody. But by the end of the day he was happy and wagging his tail,” Taylor said. People are more prone to adopting a dog that is wagging its tail, then a dog that keeps growling and barking. That’s why it is so important these animals have constant human contact.
“When you see a dog coming up and wagging its tail…the odds of it going home become a lot bigger and that’s what’s going to make an impact,” Taylor said.
For those students who live on campus and don’t have the ability to have pets, this is a great way to find fury friends that you can help and visit anytime you want. In order to become a staffed volunteer you must fill out forms at the animal shelter, but for those students like Taylor, you can stop by and hang out with the animals at any time.
“It’s something to do and it’s something fun to do,” Taylor said.
As of now there are not a whole lot of Valley students that volunteer, or just go to help out. The shelter could use all the help they can get, especially students that are looking for an extra activity to do in their free time. You don’t have to donate food or money, but just giving these animals a little piece of your time makes a huge impact.
“Just give them any kind of attention and that’s basically what I do,” Taylor said.
The animal shelter is in need of students like Taylor that just come, interact and help these animals find loving homes. “Anything you can do to help,” Taylor said. Taylor Kean is a great example that a person is a pet’s best friend.