Socializing the animals

Volunteering at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society (Photo provided — Diane Chase)

My children have finally given up asking for a kitten, cat, panther, lion, or other feline. Since I’m allergic they depend on their friends or the Tri-Lakes Humane Society to provide the source of entertainment that our dog just doesn’t have. Though my daughter swears she will have cats one day, for now her kitten obsession needs to be satisfied at the animal shelter or at someone else’s house.

We were introduced to volunteering at the Tri-Lakes Animal Shelter years ago and have continued the practice sporadically. The process is so easy that every time we do go back, I reprimand myself for not just making this part of our schedule.

Every volunteer is required to fill out a form. The paperwork only needs to be filled out once so no one is bogged down by forms. Anyone is welcome to help exercise the dogs or play with the cats. Though cats are on my daughter’s agenda, I ask if we could take one of the dogs for a walk. Most recently we are given Jesse, an elderly dog. She is loveable and enthusiastic. She quickly leads us into the nearby woods and along the marked pathways. We follow the pawprint signs and loop through the woods before returning her back to the shelter.

Founded in 1942, this non-profit, no-kill shelter provides not only a safe place for strays and abandoned domestic animals, but education for pet owners. Volunteering can come in numerous forms from socializing and feeding to cleaning and organizing. Donations are always accepted and a wish list is posted on their website so you can simultaneously donate to the Humane Society through Amazon Smile while you shop for the Humane Society.

My daughter wants to give every pet at the shelter a home so volunteering does pull at the heartstrings. Now that she is older, she can go by herself and find the role that best suits her. Perhaps it will be with the cats. For more information on volunteering, please call the Tri-Lakes Humane Society at 518-891-0017, go to trilakeshumansociety.org or stop by 255 George Lapan Memorial Highway, Saranac Lake.

The Tri-Lakes Humane Society serves the communities of Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid. Hours of operations are Tuesday-Friday 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

.Diane Chase is the author of the “Adirondack Family Activities” guidebook series, “Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.adirondackfamilytime.com.

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