During various holidays throughout the school year, I have volunteered at Last Hope, a non-profit animal rescue shelter in Wantagh, Long Island. Last Hope aims to reduce the dog and cat overpopulation problem on Long Island through catch/neuter/release policies, and strives to find amicable dogs and cats homes. Last Hope also saves death-due pound animals from the local public shelters. During the holiday season, especially on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, Last Hope is short of volunteers. On these days when extra volunteers are required, I go to the Last Hope center in Wantagh and help with cage cleaning, feeding, and giving potential adoptees tours through the center.
Before volunteering with Last Hope, I always thought of it as an easy way to complete service hours. I love animals, and I assumed that I would just be playing with the cats or dogs. During my first visit I quickly realized how much work goes into maintaining the well beings of so many animals. Every animal must have its cage constantly cleaned, and even when you think a cage is clean it is not uncommon to soon see it in dire need once again. After that first trip, I knew that I would need to go back again. During those few hours I bonded with volunteers and animals alike, and learned about their motivation for helping. For some it was pure love of animals, while for others it was based more on helping their local community as a whole in any way they can. Regardless of the reason, everyone worked hard to provide the best experience for these animals, and I have no doubt that my volunteer work with Last Hope will continue in the future.