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Shelter and Rescue Volunteers Are the Greatest

Volunteers make the animal shelter and rescue worlds go round, and Bay Woof celebrates their valuable contributions this month.

These awesome animal welfare advocates do everything, from cleaning kennels and picking up poop to precise primping for photo shoots and savvy social media marketing. They foster newcomers, show off the old timers, nurse motherless teenie-weenies, and inspire confidence in shy shelter residents. They work on solid foundations for puppies, and they firmly believe in second chances and forever homes. They save dogs from tragic situations, transport them to veterinary appointments, and soothe them after spay or neuter surgery. And then they do it again and again—because they love animals.

One animal advocate I’m proud to know is Michelle Jewell of Goldie & Papi’s Animal Rescue, a Pinole nonprofit she runs in addition to being an awesome full-time working mom. She enthusiastically socializes the babies in her care and never ceases to find homes for the mature adults that inevitably find their way to her. She’s persistent, caring, and everything an animal welfare advocate ought to be, like the breed of volunteers highlighted in “In Praise of Grrreat Volunteers.”

This month I also had the privilege of meeting over coffee an amazing mother-daughter team doing their darndest to serve the homeless and their pets of Richmond. Theresa Greenwood and her daughter, Elizabeth, started Richmond Street Angels this summer. They have two rescued dogs at home but didn’t stop there. They are building a network to distribute food, compassion, and assistance to the less fortunate of their community, delivering donated food and using personal funds for dog food, leashes, and other items needed by those living on the streets with pets. They are a truly amazing pair, and Leah Rosenbaum, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, reports what they do in “Angels on the Streets of Richmond.”

Kudos and thanks to all these friends of animals, the lifeblood of San Francisco Bay Area rescues and shelters.