Volunteer Spotlight: Tom Lemaitre
Tom has been a foster and volunteer dog walker/trainer with the shelter for less than a year, and he’s already made a huge impact on the pets in our care. But one pet in particular really made an impact on him. Meet Tom and Jake in this month’s volunteer spotlight!
Q. What is your volunteer role at the shelter?
A. I am a volunteer dog walker/trainer as well as a foster fail!
Q. How long have you been volunteering?
A. I’ve been volunteering since August 2019 as a walker/trainer, and I was a foster from late September through December, at which point we adopted Jake.
Q. Yes! Tell us about Jake!
A. Jake came to our home on September 30, 2019 – just for the weekend. He had come to the shelter in pretty rough shape. He weighed only 59 lbs, and should have weighed much more. He had anxiety, skin issues, and wasn’t a fan of other dogs. He had a great weekend and was the perfect guest!
The next day after dropping him back off at the shelter, I was off for some medical tests and feeling bad for him. That afternoon my results came in. I was diagnosed with emphysema and spots on my lungs.
The following weekend we decided to give him another break, we arrived at the shelter and my wife saw him. Jake has never been alone since. Nor have I.
We have been able to lower his anxiety meds, his skin is ongoing, but not a threat to him. His back knees are both bad, so we go slow and keep him at his new goal weight of 95lbs!
He lays by my bed every night and when he wakes, I reach out and pet him and if I wake, he sits up and puts his head on me. We’re a great, broken pair.
We’re so glad you found each other!
Q. What made you want to volunteer?
A. After 26 years as dog owners, we lost our last old guy and we wanted to give back to others.
Q. What is your favorite part about volunteering?
A. The dogs! But a close second is the staff and volunteer relationships – good people with a common goal!
Q. If you could give one piece of advice about volunteering or fostering with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, what would it be?
A. Do it! The reward is huge! I found more than I hoped for when I got involved, and I hope to be there for a long time! It’s not always fun or pretty, but it is worth every bit when you see a shelter pet find their family!