Larimer Humane Society itching for volunteers

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Here in Fort Collins, the small and furry guests at the Larimer Humane Society are spending their summers indoors.

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The shelter, located at 6317 Kyle Ave., is in high demand of volunteers, due to the lack of college students in town this summer. According to Shelter Manager Jen Valentine, the animals are always looking for potential families.

“The best thing you can do is adopt these cats,” said Valentine.

Inside the Humane Society, families stand in line, waiting to be introduced to their prospective pets. Volunteers in green shirts dart swiftly around the shelter, discussing the different personalities of dogs and cats.

Maximus, a black and white cat, is catagorized as a personal assistant. He is always around his human, like a little helper.

The shelter remains optimistic that pets like Maximus will be adopted soon. In the meantime, volunteers are needed to help ensure the shelter’s guests remain as comfortable as possible.

According to Eva Matthews, the Humane Society’s volunteer director, their needs are constantly changing. On any given day, there can be up to 70 cats waiting to be adopted. Matthews said there are typically more cats than dogs.

“In the summer, we just have so many cats,” Matthews said. “We’re always recruiting for more cat volunteers. It’s our busy kitten and puppy season.”

According to Matthews, about 360 volunteers help run the shelter.

Although all volunteers are asked to commit to at least six months at the shelter, volunteering can be as simple as walking a dog. There are numerous positions that require only a few hours of service per week.

Before being accepted into the shelter’s program, individuals must attend a volunteer orientation and be interviewed by Humane Society staff.

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This extra training is a safety precaution, Matthews says. Many of the animals that come to the shelter are lost and stressed.

Jeannette Hoffman, a Fort Collins resident, makes it a point to volunteer at least once a week. She has been with Larimer Humane Society since 2010 and previously volunteered at her local Humane Society in California for five years.

Despite her preference for dogs over cats, Hoffman said she cannot resist playing with the cats who are ready for adoption.

“We’re really low on cat volunteers right now,” Hoffman said, as she stroked Sully, her favorite.

Keeping the critters comfortable is what Hoffman loves most about volunteering at the shelter.

“It lets me get in as much ‘fur time’ as possible,” Hoffman said.

The next volunteer orientation is set to take place Tuesday, July 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Registration will open July 16. Those interested can visit the Humane Society’s official website to find available shifts.

The shelter is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Collegian Staff Reporter Erick Plattner can be reached at news@collegian.com.