Local animal shelter seeks volunteers

At the Ewing Animal Shelter, the stories are similar and the task daunting, but the results rewarding.

Consider Stan: A 2-year-old pit bull and Labrador retriever mixed breed, Stan was abandoned by his owners who no longer wanted to use him for breeding.

Then there is Jada: A 5-year-old pit bull and shepherd mix, Jada spent her entire life as a house pet, sprawling on sofas and scurrying for scraps. When her owner’s boyfriend said he would leave if the dog stayed, Jada too was tossed to the curb.

When the shelter eventually rescued the dogs, the staff volunteers were not satisfied with merely housing the canines. In what has become typical for the shelter, the volunteers treated the dogs as family, and became intent on finding loving homes for them.

After several months in the shelter, the staff and dogs were rewarded, as Jada and Stan were recently adopted. But with dogs arriving in far greater numbers than new volunteers, the shelter’s residents are increasing at an alarming rate.

“I think dog rescue is something people really relate to,” said Mark Phillips, one of the lead volunteers and a member of the Citizen’s Committee for Ewing (CC4E), a non-profit town watchdog group that works with the shelter. “I get the sense it’s everywhere.”

CC4E is coordinating a volunteer day this month in which volunteers, especially college students, can meet the animals and assist in cleaning and maintaining the shelter’s Ingham Avenue location.

Following orientation, volunteers will be encouraged to socialize with the animals at the shelter and assist at monthly adoption days in Ewing.

The Sovereign Bank Arena is interested in sponsoring a number of adoption events on the concourse during hockey games as well.

“I consider the College a great source,” Phillips, who added that several students already serve as volunteers, said.

Phillips, a College graduate, specializes in socializing the animals.

He brings his canine companions to his home to bond with his two dogs, and to work.?”I work in an office space with a printer,” said Phillips, who runs a graphic design business.?”The owner of my building loves dogs.”

Interested volunteers should e-mail Phillips at mark@iggybragg.com.

The writer is an occasional volunteer at the animal shelter.