This week, the Charlotte Camden Cares volunteers lent a helping hand to the Humane Society of Charlotte! Over the course of 3 days, 3 groups of Camden volunteers donated approximately 9 hours of their time to help the Humane Society staff with their opening duties.
For those that are not familiar with the Humane Society Organization, it is an animal advocacy organization that specializes in the care, sheltering and sometimes rescue of animals in need. Although most of the animals that are seen being housed at the Humane Societies in numerous american cities are cats and dogs, the Humane Society advocates for and protects ALL animals.
The staff of the Charlotte chapter of the Humane Society arrive every morning at 8 am sharp. They are responsible for feeding the animals according to sometimes strict dietary meals, cleaning both the inside and outside of the kennels and/or cages (in the case of the kittens and cats), arranging the rest areas that the dogs and cats use to relax and much much more. This week, the Camden volunteers did it all!
Each animal has a dietary chart hanging on the outside of each kennel door. These diets reflect whether the animal has any allergies, illnesses or just general weight gain/loss needs. These different dietary meals will be placed in silver bowls and carefully slid in to feed the dogs. It is important to read the directions carefully AND to make sure that each volunteer takes to the animals very slowly to avoid any nervous reactions which could avoid in injury to either the volunteer or the animal.
The kennel cleaning comes in two different phases. Phase 1 starts on the outside. The guillotine doors are raised and the animals are coaxed inside with their meals waiting for them. Once the animals entire body has worked its way through the small doors, they are shut keeping the animal inside. The outside kennel area is now exposed and ready to be cleaned. The first part of the cleaning is easily the most…. “smelly”. The volunteer must “scoop the poop” using a large scooper and thick brush. The next volunteer sprays a water/chlorine based mixture into the kennel helping to soften and dissolve any leftover feces. The following volunteer follows closely behind with a little scrubbing brush that gets used to basically scrap any leftover feces and water from the kennel floor. The last volunteer follows behind with a squeegee used to push all of the excess water and urine into the drain pipes near the end of the kennel edge. Once this 4 step process is complete, the kennels are clean and smelling fresh.
Phase 2 is very similar to is predecessor, however it takes place on the inside. Once the animals are done eating, they are then led back outside to get some air. The guillotine doors are then closed behind them leaving the inside free to be cleaned. The inside cleaning is basically the same procedure, however because the inside has the animal beds and toys on the inside, the volunteers will have to sort through these things in order to make sure none of these items need to be cleaned or thrown out. Once sorted through, the volunteers will have to fold and remake comfortable animal beds.
The Cat Sanctuary:
Because the cats and kittens cannot be kept in the same area as the dogs, the Humane Society actually has another inside home for the cats of the facility. It is divided in half with one half being adult cats and the other kittens. These animals have to be fed as well. The volunteer must open the cage doors, slide in another small bowl of cat food, wipe down the interior area and empty the litter box. This needs to be done for every small cage that houses any animals.
If you can imagine, because the actual Society opens for business at 10 am, these tasks need to be done in a 2 hour time period. Everything must be sterilized and ready for any visitors that might come through the doors at 10 am.
Because we were all there as volunteers, the staff of the Humane Society was nice enough to take some of the more social dogs out for us. We were able to play with them in the gated, outside socialization area they have at the facility. This was a very fun moment.
This Camden Cares event was a very meaningful one. We were truly able to help for a good cause and also got a chance to be near the animals!
To anyone in the Charlotte- Metro area interested in adopting an animal or volunteering themselves, please visit:
www.humanesocietyofcharlotte.com or actually go to the facility at 2700 Toomey Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203.
Camden Property Trust would like to thank the staff of the Humane Society of Charlotte for allowing us all to come out and help to make our community a better place.
Camden does TRULY care!