Animal Shelter Appreciation Week

Happy Animal Shelter Appreciation Week! Each year during the first full week of November, The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) celebrates National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week as a way to honor animal shelters and the dedicated and compassionate people who work at them.

Here at AWS, we work hard every day to ensure the lost, homeless, and in-need pets of our community remain happy, healthy, and at home with their families. As such, we want to appreciate and celebrate our employees by sharing with you the many roles, jobs, and tasks that our shelter workers take on every day. It’s a hard job for sure, but luckily never a thankless one!

Every day, a team of employees are assigned to carry out the morning tasks of letting the dogs outside, feeding and medicating all animals, and beginning cleaning the many areas and enclosures of our shelter. This includes picking up all toys, bedding, and blankets, hosing down and scrubbing the walls, sweeping up all hair and food bits, scooping and cleaning litter-boxes, and setting up the space with all new, clean accessories. Every animal is unique and has their own behaviors and likes, so it’s up to our staff to make sure each one is comfortable and happy… all before 10:00am!

Once the morning tasks are finished and AWS opens to the public, our Adoption Center staff spends the afternoon answering phone calls, handling adoptions, taking in surrenders, and preparing pets for foster. They also begin enrichment time for all animals which includes making puzzle toys for dogs, rotating dogs outside for playtime, administering special scents and treats to cats, hiding foraging objects for small pets, and engaging in snuggling and socializing all animals. Plus, there’s always more cleaning to do and many animal intake exams to complete. Our shelter workers truly are jacks of all trades!

Finally, once the day begins to wind down and our doors close to the public, our Adoption Center staff begins the evening routine of rotating dogs out for last bathroom breaks, feeding dinners and administering medications, cleaning and picking up outside pens, tidying up animal spaces, and preparing all pets for a quiet and calm nighttime. Checklists are made to ensure all animals have what they require, and staff ensure all doors are secured, locked, and the animals are safe for the night. Once the last minute paperwork is complete, employees say goodnight to the pets and prepare to do it all again tomorrow!

Thank you to our entire team for their hard work, dedication, and compassion for the job. Together, we help thousands of pets and the people who care for them every year. Bravo!