MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade County Animal Services is looking for passionate animal lovers. Each year, they shelter about 30,000 homeless dogs and cats while they wait to be adopted.
Taking care of them would be overwhelming if it wasn't for the help of volunteers and the center is always looking for more. They need volunteers for grooming, social media networking, pet socializer, dog walkers, greeters, adoption counselor and pet photographers.
Juliette Machia said she has been volunteering for about eight months at the adoption center in Doral. She said she is committed to walking a 10-year-old Toy Poodle named Zeke two to three times a day, "so he can get fresh air and sunshine."
Yaelin Paez said she fosters newborn kittens at her home and she bottle feeds them ever two hours.
"It makes me feel really good because I know I am helping them and eventually they are going to get adopted and go to a good house," Paez said.
John Bouma said he is not in a position to foster or adopt an animal, so as a professional photographer he donates his time. The Miami-Dade County Animal Services publishes Bouma's photographs on the website and social media platforms.
"I know their pictures make a difference," Bouma said.
Luis Cuellar, the shelter program's coordinator, said he values the love and attention volunteers like Bouma, Machia and Paez provide. Some of the animals come in very fearful after having experienced neglect and sometimes abuse.
"We cannot do our everyday operations without the help of our volunteers and our fosters," Cuellar said. "It would be impossible we have too many animals."
The Miami-Dade County Animal Services will be hosting a volunteer fair on Thursday at the Pet Adoption & Protection Center from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday at 3599 NW 79 Ave., in Miami-Dade's city of Doral. For more information, visit their website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.