Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Pawsome Way to Help

Name: Louise Amaris Sanchez
From: El Paso, Texas
Grade: Junior
School: Americas High School
Votes: 73

          As a teenager, we often tend to spend our time on social media or on any
other technological device. But how come we can spend hours on our
phones/ other devices but cannot realize what a positive change we
could be making in the world if we got up and made a change? I began
volunteering at the Humane Society of El Paso in September of 2016
simply because I wanted to help give animals a good home.

When I first began volunteering I would clean the waste of the animals and
making sure that the facility was clean. I was soon able to take the
dogs for a walk and take the cats outside to the playhouses and the
“catio.” After volunteering for a while I was able to adopt out
the pets to families and ensure the animals went to a good home.
Seeing the smile on a dogs face while getting adopted is definitely
the most satisfactory thing about volunteering at the Humane Society.
Being able to adopt out good pets to wonderful families is so
definitely life changing.

Never did I anticipate that the animals I provided a service to would
change my life. I began to understand different breeds of dogs and
cats and what makes them happy, nervous, upset… etc. I grew so fond
of going to the shelter I have spent roughly four hours at the
shelter every weekend. In the past six months I have spent a little
over 80 hours volunteering at the shelter. I began my journey by just
doing it for fun and because of my love for animals, but now I just
cannot get enough of them. Seeing the cats/dogs I absolutely adore
and care for not get adopted has been absolutely, without a doubt,
one of the biggest challenges I have faced while volunteering. Some
of the pets have been there for months and although the shelter is a
great temporary home, it is not an ideal long term home.

            From my volunteering position I have learned that you really cannot judge
a book by its cover. Dogs and cats behave the way they do because of
the way they were trained to act. Since I want to be in the medical
field it is important for me to want to care for anyone in need, even
if it is a fur ball. I want people to grow to be more compassionate
to not only animals as a whole but to the people around them. This is
forward looking because it helps people develop positively in
realizing how to grow more compassionate towards all those around us.
It is so easy for an animal to feel neglected and it takes just 15
minutes a day for an animal to receive the affection they deserve. In
20 years I will have made a change with my volunteering because I was
able to change the lives of families and pets one adoption at a time.

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