Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Gardiner
Meet Jessica! Jessica is one of our nearly 530 active volunteers and 240 fosters. Additionally, Jessica is one of our Adoption Service Representatives! We sat down with Jessica to hear more about what makes her so passionate about working with and saving animals, both on the clock and in her free time.
Q. What is your volunteer position?
A. I’m a cat foster and a dog walker (as well as an Adoption Services Representative)!
Q. How long have you been volunteering and fostering?
A. I’ve volunteered/fostered off and on (usually during kitten season up until starting work at the shelter) for the last 5 years if not more. I’ve only been dog walking a short time. I’ve been employed with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County for almost 5 months now.
Q. What made you want to volunteer at the shelter?
A. I absolutely love animals and everything surrounded/enforcing the upmost positive welfare/wellbeing of all our animal friends. Even if it’s only on an emergency basis, I love helping! I’ve taken home neonate kittens, for example, needing bottle-feeding overnight. I also volunteer on my weekends and dog walk because there are so many times that we are short on dog walkers and the dogs need to get out! It’s one of the few things they look forward to everyday. Volunteering with dog walking also gives me the best opportunity to get to know the dogs outside of the shelter and that helps me in the adoption department.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice about volunteering with the shelter, what would it be?
A. There are so many ways to help out! If you can’t foster then doing anything from laundry to kennel enrichment to purr time not only helps out shelter staff and helps us all increase our bond with all of these animals but it really allows us all to get to know these amazing creatures inside and out. But the best part of all.., the incredible thanks and love you get from helping the animals at the shelter.
Q. This is great! Anything else you’d like to share?
A. I love helping people, customer service is a calling of mine but animal welfare and anything I can do to help and support at the shelter mixed with customer service.. it truly is the best of both worlds for me. Having this type of career, working for the shelter is 100% a dream come true. I am thankful every day for the career I have been given as well as all of the other amazing opportunities that have come from volunteering and fostering. I feel so lucky and I always have such a surreal feeling when coming to work. I look forward for all the years to come with the Society.