The following article was written by Barbara Yarnell, a volunteer with Brown County Humane Society (BCHS).

Last year, over 700 pets passed through Brown County Humane Society. Lost, abandoned, neglected, each with their own story. Like Ziva, a terrified dog who reacted by lunging at everyone. Or Lewis and Clark, roaming the hills of Brown County for months scavenging for food. Emaciated and terrified of people.

These dogs needed special help and a plan to get them off to their forever homes. After 233 days, Ziva is now happily sitting in laps in her new home. Lewis and Clark continue their adventure together and are now living the good life with their forever family.

Without the help of our volunteers, BCHS wouldn’t be able to provide the assistance these animals need. Volunteers provide a lot of the hands-on activities like dog walking. Twice a day, every dog goes outside for a walk and chance to run off-leash. Rain or shine, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

I recently met Carol, a volunteer dog walker, and had a chance to ask her about her experience at BCHS. She told me after retiring she moved to Brown County with her husband and wanted to give back to the community. So, she reached out to the shelter.

Carol told me, “Even though the old shelter was small, everyone had a positive attitude and so much energy. You hear stories about shelters that are not ideal for the dogs. The group of people here have such a huge impact with such a small group of people. It’s astonishing the results they get and the dedication and lengths they will go to. I’ve never seen a tiny shelter have such big results. It’s a pleasure to be part of a group that has this level of dedication to the animals.”

I asked Carol if it was hard, “It’s not hard. We have a great staff. If you need help with anything, they’ll drop what they are doing to help you. If there is any dog you are not comfortable with, that’s okay. Somebody else will walk them. They will work with you no matter what.”

“But it is bittersweet because you get to know the dogs and then they get adopted. I’m happy, but sad I won’t see them anymore. Bittersweet, but so rewarding. I really enjoy what I do here.”

Lewis and Clark couldn’t make it on their own. Ziva needed a special plan. And BCHS wouldn’t be able to do what we do, without our generous volunteers. Thank you!

For more information about being a dog walker, or any of our other available volunteer opportunities, visit our website at: