Volunteer Spotlight: Andrea Huerta
Meet Andrea Huerta! Andrea has been volunteering at the shelter for almost 5 years and helps our shelter dogs get out for much-needed walks and socialization.
A. When I first moved to Washington State in 2017, I started searching for an animal welfare organization that I could support. I had volunteered for a local shelter and pitbull-specific rescue before relocating and wanted to find another organization that I aligned with. I reached out to a few rescues and shelters but was immediately drawn to the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to temporarily foster a few dogs and have become a volunteer trainer. It’s my goal to help as many committed volunteers get trained so that we can provide the dogs with the enrichment they need and deserve.
Q. What made you want to volunteer at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County?
A. I spent 10 years walking and fostering for a local animal shelter and rescue in Boise, Idaho. When I relocated, I was looking for the right fit and was drawn to the mission of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. As an open-admission shelter, I appreciate that you are able to provide help for animals that can’t help themselves and that you value keeping pets with their people and out of the shelter. There have been countless dogs that wouldn’t have had a second chance if it weren’t for the employees, volunteers, and medical care they receive at the shelter.
A. My favorite part of volunteering is the animals and the lives that we make a difference in. It’s easy to fall in love with the dogs that come through the shelter and though I wish I could adopt every single one of them, there’s nothing better than seeing their names on that adoption board.
Q. Why are you so passionate about the work we do?
A. I’m passionate about being the voice for the voiceless and giving animals a second chance. None of these dogs deserve to be in the shelter but we can make a difference in their lives as they search for their forever homes.
Q. Any special stories you’d like to share?
A. Two years ago, Baldwin came to the shelter in rough shape. He was extremely malnourished, had missing teeth, and had hair loss across his entire body. Despite his previous life, he was the sweetest boy. I was able to help foster him for a few weeks while we helped him gain weight and search for a forever family. Today, Baldwin is well-loved by his mom and dad and lives in West Seattle.
Q. October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month! Can you tell us more about your work with Hello Pitty Rescue?
A. I established Hello Pitty Rescue in 2019 with the mission of helping keep pit bull-type dogs in their homes and out of shelters by providing free resources to low-income individuals. Through our partnership with Northwest Spay and Neuter Center and Pasado’s Safe Haven, we are able to provide free spay, neuter, and microchip services to pit bull-type dogs in need. Additionally, we offer free training classes and have helped find forever homes for over 100 dogs through our shelter partnerships in Washington, California, and Texas.
Interested in becoming a foster or volunteer? Check out our opportunities.