By Samantha Werkheiser
The Animal Welfare Society of Monroe (AWSOM) offers locals a chance to not only spend time with some furry animals, but also better the community along the way.
AWSOM, nestled in the hills of Stroudsburg, was founded in 2009. The non-profit organization strives to find homes for stray, neglected or abused companion pets.
Part of AWSOM’s mission statement is to “foster enriching relationships between people and animals through education and advocacy while setting a positive example for a humane path toward life.”
Most commonly dogs and cats in need of a loving home can be found in abundance at the shelter. However, there have been a variety of different kinds of animals over the years, ranging from guinea pigs to parrots.
AWSOM hopes to adopt pets out to a suited and caring match for that animal, which is why people seeking to adopt must go through an application process before being able to adopt.
This process aims to eliminate surrendering of the pet after adoption by making sure that the adopter has a lifestyle suited to that pet’s particular personality and needs.
There are many volunteer opportunities that AWSOM offers to the community. As with the adoption process, all prospective volunteers must go through an application process too. All volunteers must also be over the age of 18.
Both the dog and cat facilities need to be cleaned several times a day, with different shifts being provided, so it fits into almost any schedule.
Dog walking is another program that AWSOM runs, volunteers must go through a training session on how to properly and safely walk dogs.
Dog walking takes place during AWSOM business hours (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) and 7 p.m. on scheduled dog walking nights during the spring and summer.
The laundry program at the shelter involves sorting, cleaning and washing the donated or soiled bedding for the animals.
AWSOM also provides administrative volunteer work if hands-on volunteering isn’t your thing.
This includes answering the phones, filing applications, checking the lost and found columns and greeting people as they enter the shelter.
There are also many charity events held by AWSOM, ranging from classier events like the upcoming Fur Ball on Nov. 11 to pet parades down Main Street in Stroudsburg.
AWSOM is always looking for volunteers to help out with these events as well.
To find out more information or to get involved with AWSOM, visit http://www.awsomanimals.org/.
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