Volunteer Spotlight: Erik Zohn
Meet Erik! Erik is a local firefighter, and committed volunteer. He’s been fostering dogs for only a few months, but has already made a huge impact on many of our shelter pups. Read more below!
Q. What is your volunteer role?
A. My current role at the shelter is multi-faceted. I’m a lead dog walker, involved in dog enrichment (which is basically just hanging out with the pups to ensure they have companionship), and I foster dogs, too. Fostering is my favorite part of volunteering.
Q. What made you decide to start fostering shelter dogs?
A. I’m a Lacey firefighter, which requires me to leave my home for 24 hours, and sometimes up to 48 hours at a time, for a shift. I started fostering because I was seriously considering adoption, but because of my job, I didn’t want to leave a pet alone that long.
Q. What’s it like fostering shelter dogs? Any funny or crazy stories from along the way?
A. Fostering shelter dogs is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Every time I pick one up and bring them home, it’s like learning a new friend’s personality. They are all so excited to be in a home, and the first few hours are generally devoted to allowing them to get used to my house. Once they get used to having a yard to run in and a house to cruise through, they almost always calm down and take a nap. It’s pretty cute.
Q. What is your favorite part of fostering dogs?
A. My favorite part of fostering is learning the personalities of each of the dogs I bring home. They really do have different personalities and are as unique as you and I. The only difference about dogs is that they typically are way easier to get along with than people. It’s rare to find a dog that doesn’t just want to make you happy. That seems to be their only wish, and I love it.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice about fostering with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, what would it be?
A. Be patient. Some of these dogs have lived with some pretty awful people and circumstances. All they want to do is make you happy. You are their entire world while they’re with you. Just pay attention to their needs, and they will love you unconditionally. Beyond that advice, I would say get involved. There are a lot more than dogs than people willing to help. If you do get involved with the shelter, I can guarantee that you won’t be sorry.