By Jane Weatherford

Little did I know 24 years ago that my father was setting me up for a lifetime commitment to better the lives of the homeless, abused and neglected animals in Brown County.

Shortly after I moved into the county in 1982, my dad asked me to attend a Brown County Humane Society Board of Directors meeting. He was the treasurer at the time and was hoping I would become involved.

I innocently attended the meeting and was fascinated by the dedication that this group of people had to the animal welfare cause. They were passionate about making the lives of animals better. I too had always been an animal lover and it was wonderful to be surrounded by people with similar values.

At the meeting I attended the directors had just been dealt a bit of a blow when they learned that they would have to close the animal shelter they were in. The lease on the building would not be extended. It was disheartening; however, their vow to move forward was heard loud and clear.

My first hands-on experience after attending that board meeting was to go to the old shelter on Creamer Road and help disassemble the kennels and salvage whatever equipment and building material we could. It was hard, hot work and most people would have been discouraged, but not this group. They were excitedly discussing the next steps they would take to buy property and build their own shelter.

Those many years ago, I had no idea I would become one of those dedicated, passionate people devoted to the Brown County Humane Society and its mission. (I think my dear deceased dad would be proud!)

I was recently asked why I donate my time and money to the humane society and my only answer was, “I have to. It is who I am. I could not imagine not dedicating my life to saving animals. It is the most rewarding work I have ever done.”

My hope is that others of you will feel this same need to help the pets in our county and join our growing volunteer force. Just a few hours a month can be a tremendous help. You will get to work with some very dedicated and passionate people that care about the welfare of animals as much as you do. The satisfaction you will feel for having improved the lives of so many pets is guaranteed to be fun and very rewarding.

Volunteer opportunities abound both at and away from the Brown County Humane Society animal shelter. For every person who cares about animals, there is a task you can help the humane society with. Everyone has a talent to offer the humane society, which will help save pets’ lives.

Many people tell us that they can’t work at the shelter because they would want to take every pet home or because it would make then too sad to see the pets in cages. No problem, there are lots of opportunities to help the homeless pets in Brown County without going to the shelter.

Look through this list of 28 personality traits and find the task you’d be good at. Then call me, Jane Weatherford, at 988-0629 (evenings and weekends) to find out more and let me know how you’d like to help.

The homeless, neglected and abused pets in Brown County are counting on you.