Name: Nicole Gonzalez
From: Doral, Florida
School: Doral Academy Charter High School
Volunteering at the foster care program at the Miami-Dade Animal Services
Department really made me feel closer to the pets in the shelter.
When I first arrived to the shelter, I noticed how every other
visitor would think that it was such an amazing facility and the pets
would be so happy there when in reality they aren’t. As I attended
a meeting for the foster care program, I was told that the shelter
receives about approximately one thousand pets per year. The facility
was very overcrowded for the pets, and they wouldn’t guarantee time
outside to play or for their basic needs. I knew they were in need of
more volunteers so I decided to help.
I decided to take home two three-month-old puppies. I received credit
of thirty-five hours per week for eight weeks since I brought them
home. These dogs happened to be found on the street, abandoned, two
days before I took them into my care. My responsibilities as a
volunteer were being able to put these puppies on a schedule and help
them feel welcomed into my home. Waking up every three to four hours
each night in order to take them outside and then get them back to
sleep had to be my biggest challenge from this experience. Yet being
able to see how happy and comfortable they were at my home was
satisfying enough to overlook the effects. Volunteering made me
realize that you can make such a great difference in a pet’s life
by bringing them into your home.
Although this experience does not directly relate to my career, both require
passion. For the past four years, I have wished to become a fashion
designer because being able to create something of your own makes you
feel such a connection towards it. Volunteering in the foster care
program has made me build a connection with the dogs and has allowed
me to help them create a better life of their own.
This experience has helped me become more caring, responsible and
independent which I believe will have a great impact on my future.
“Forward looking” refers to the effect that something you’ve
done might have on your future and the community. This volunteer
activity has helped the dogs I took care of by helping them get into
a good schedule and letting them experience a life outside of the
shelter. By volunteering at the foster program, I can help spread
awareness to the world on how many pets such as both dogs and cats
have to spent weeks or even months in shelters. I hope it will help
more people to keep in mind how just a couple of days at ones’ home
can benefit the pets in the long run.