If one should visit the Weyburn Humane Society any day of the week, they would likely meet Shelter Manager Colleen Morrice. Ever chipper and always keeping the animals' care at the top of her priorities, Colleen works 12-13 hour shifts at the shelter to ensure the daily chores are kept up. While local volunteers would normally aid in shortening those long days, a steep decline in the number of people donating their time to the shelter means that the responsibility falls on the Board. As the costs of operation continue to rise almost as quickly as the number of animals in their care, the Humane Society is now in higher need of volunteers than ever.

Morrice said that ideally, they would have at least 5 sets of hands at the ready to complete each day's required tasks. Lately they have been inching by with only 2-3 people on staff. Although the work is never ending, Colleen shared that the jobs are simple and that volunteer hours are extremely flexible.

"There's always stuff to do," she emphasized. "The dogs come in muddy and wave their tails around, so we wash walls every day. We also have a ton of dishes to clean each day because the animals get a fresh dish every time they eat. When there is snow, we need help with shoveling, and of course with poop-scooping for the dogs and cats. Even if all someone can manage is to come in on a lunch break to wash dishes for 30 minutes, that would free up some of the staff's time to take on other jobs."

Add in kennel cleaning, dosing medications, trimming nails and whatever else requires immediate attention, and you can begin to build an idea of what the average day looks like for Colleen. When there is so much on the go at once, every extra bit of help the team receives is certainly noticed. That's why Colleen hopes for local students to get in touch early about their required volunteer hours rather than leaving it to the last possible week. 

"Over the last 10 years, we've typically seen students trying to fill their volunteer hours all in the last week of the semester," Colleen explained. "When they flood in like that, we actually have to turn a lot away. I'd rather see those students spread their volunteer hours out over the entire semester. More students would actually be able to volunteer here, and it would help us a lot more as well."

Although the list of tasks can sometimes go on for miles, it's important to note that the time volunteers spend at the shelter is never described as toilsome. Colleen was quick to comment that she gets just as much satisfaction and enjoyment out of the job as the amount of effort that she puts into it, and urged anyone seeking additional fulfillment in their lives to consider opening their hearts to the furry friends that reside at the shelter. 

"For those that want to get involved, you can reach out by sending us an email expressing that you'd like to volunteer," said Morrice. "We also have volunteer forms on our website which make it really easy, or you can just pop in. We're here from 8:00 in the morning till 7:00 at night."

Humane Society Email: weyburnhumanesociety@outlook.com

Humane Society Volunteer Form: Adult Volunteer Form - Click Here