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My Experience Caring for Shelter Animals by Pooja Singamsetty

During my freshman year of high school I decided to volunteer at my local priceless pets animal shelter which proved to be one of the most gratuitous moments of my young adulthood. In my time at the shelter I worked with both cats, and dogs, as well as other volunteers whose company blossomed into memorable friendships. Much of my experiences at the shelter had shaped the person I am today, being that I have learned about the responsibilities of caring for a dependent being as well as being able to converse with others naturally.

Some of my key responsibilities at the shelter included feeding, walking, cleaning kennels and litter boxes, trimming cat nails, bathing dogs, wiping windows, organizing paperwork, and providing customer service to the patrons. Walking dogs was a very physically demanding position seeing as how I was responsible for handling multiple strong dogs a day, as well as ensuring their safety and the safety of others around them at all times. Along with that, one of my tougher responsibilities was keeping the animal’s spaces clean; routinely sanitizing kennels and litter boxes taught me a lot about the importance of a seemingly repulsive task that ensures the safety of the animals occupying those spaces. Many of my chores required great amounts of patience and determination; trimming cat nails and bathing dogs were some of those chores because of the uncooperative nature of the animals receiving such upkeep. Assisting the manager in maintaining paperwork was one of many assignments that taught me the value of organization in day to day functionality. Despite the struggles, all the hard work was worth it; the joy that I received from being able to care for animals in need was irreplaceable. My parents, who had observed the fruits of my labor, had decided to gift me with my very own pet cat.

When I reminisce on my freshman year, my inability to socialize with others occupies a vast majority of my memories at the time, that is until my transformational path at Priceless Pets. Prior to my volunteering, I had found myself consumed in debilitating social anxiety that hindered my ability to socialize with others. When I volunteered every Friday for almost a year, I found that Priceless Pets became somewhat of a safe haven for me to break out of my restrictive shell. Working with other kids my age who aided me in my responsibilities prompted me to not only be approachable at Priceless Pets, but also at school and other settings. Being invited to attend Lisa Price’s personal volunteer appreciation party was an incredible experience as I was able to form a connection with the co-founder/director of Priceless Pets as well as my fellow volunteers.

Overall, my experience volunteering for Priceless Pets animal shelter was such a rewarding journey that taught me, firsthand, the ins and outs of caring for domestic animals as well as building my character and social skills.

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