Recently I pointed out that Dallas Animal Services (DAS) seems oddly short of volunteers (according to Kent Robertson, DAS only has either 15 or 50 - the public gallery couldn't hear what he said during the recent Animal Shelter Commission meeting).
Since more volunteers + more adoptions = less euthanasia, this area begs improvement. Volunteers would also help to socialize the fearful animals, and could foster the animals in need of special care so they wouldn't be euthanized.
Shelters that have significantly lowered their euthanasia rates in a short period of time mentioned the importance of volunteer assistance and community involvement.
Nathan Winograd describes the importance of volunteers here:
Volunteers are a dedicated “army of compassion” and the backbone of a successful No Kill effort. There is never enough staff, never enough dollars to hire more staff, and always more needs than paid human resources. That is where volunteers make the difference between success and failure and, for the animals, life and death.
One recent comment published here described DAS' volunteer application in negative terms. After taking a look at it - click here for a link - I tend to agree. The only small improvement is that it's down to six pages. It used to be 10 pages.
Why would anyone want to volunteer after being put through this idiot's dialogue of questions and answers? Certainly the legalese has to be there, whether we like it or not. But why interrogate people as if they're criminals? It's yet another depressing example of how Those In Charge view the general public.
Conversely, the few DFW area shelters and rescue groups who welcome community service volunteers have mentioned that they're some of the most reliable volunteers they've ever had. It's simple, really - if they don't do the hours the judge has assigned them, they're in trouble. But DAS is not on the Volunteer Center's list.
Maybe they should climb down off their pedestal and consider it. The animals would appreciate it.