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Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Kali Lapham

Lapham works in our yard with under socialized dogs brought in from a puppy mill.

Kali has volunteered with HATS since June 2018. Kali is an animal behaviorist who first started walking dogs and then joined our Running Buddies program. She volunteers her time with our animals to work on their manners and skills needed to succeed in a home environment. She can often be found in the dog yard working with our residents on their basic commands.

What's your favorite part about working with HATS?

My favorite part about working with HATS is seeing the dogs that may be overlooked due to behavioral problems blossom into wonderful dogs that anyone would love to have. I love that HATS is willing to try to correct problem behavior and work with the dogs to help them be their best selves. The entire staff cares about the welfare of the dogs and want what's best for them. This makes my work as an animal behaviorist easier because when they help adopters realize the importance of training they can realize they are no bad dogs, just dogs that may need a little help. They help adopters pick dogs that are right for their lifestyle rather than just based on appearances and that's so important! Adopters that realize asking for help doesn't mean they failed means we can keep more dogs in their homes with their families.

Lapham with HATS Alumni Doc, one of our longest-term residents.

What would you tell someone who isn't involved, but would like to be?

When I first considered volunteering, I was a little hesitant because I had an image of sad dogs in cages and I didn't want to have to see that and feel bad. Then I came in and saw how the dogs go on walks, they have the opportunity to go to the park, they get to go outside, they have beds and toys in their kennels. I realized the dogs are loved and well cared for. With me being there that's another dog that can go on a walk, can have the chance to go to the park, and can get extra love and attention. More volunteers means even more socialization for the dogs, which in turn means better chances to get adopted. You may not be able to adopt every dog yourself, but by volunteering you're helping them find wonderful homes and making their lives better while they stay at the shelter! You can make a difference in their lives, and in my opinion, that's the best thing in the world.

What would you want someone to know about animal rescue that most people don't?

I think a lot of people think shelter dogs have something wrong with them. They think they must be bad dogs to be in the shelter. I want people to know that is absolutely NOT true. They're there because previous owners or situations failed them. They are all wonderful, amazing dogs (and cats!) that are eager to give love to their new family. You can find a dog to fit any lifestyle at shelters: energetic, eager to learn, easy going, young, old, mixed, purebred, and anything in between. They may need a little help to learn how to fit in to your families lifestyle, but EVERY dog has something to learn. Dogs are so willing to learn. There are no bad dogs. No bad breeds. And NO stupid dogs. An old dog can learn new tricks, you just have to be a little patient and understand it's going to take time for your pet to learn what you want them to do. If you love them and treat them well, your new best friend won't disappoint you.


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