Athenspets is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping the needy animals of Athens-Clarke County Animal Services. We are the online presence for the shelter animals and help get the word out when the shelter needs more volunteers for its activities. All volunteers who will be going to the shelter need to complete the shelter’s volunteer orientation & abide by all shelter rules as any time spent at the shelter or handling shelter animals is as a shelter volunteer. Contact Animal Services for more information about volunteering & the orientation schedule! If you’re not local, you can still help! Some of the volunteer activities that can be done remotely (for example, networking our animals and helping raise funds) are obvious; others (like being in charge of tracking sponsorships, updating the website with new animals, and updating Facebook) are not.
Have you found your furry soulmate as a result of Athenspets? Please share your success stories and photos with Allyson!
Athens-Clarke County shelter volunteer – The dogs, cats, and humans at the shelter appreciate volunteers who can socialize and play with the animals any hours they are open. Some dogs and cats are frightened and stressed when they first arrive, and just a little one-on-one time with a person makes them feel so much better. Other dogs and cats are happy and friendly, but build up excess energy being stuck in a dog run or cat kennel nearly 24/7. Even a few minutes of exercise and playtime calms them down and will entertain you! If you think volunteering at the shelter might be depressing – just try it, you’ll be surprised. Dogs and cats live in the moment, so every happy moment they have with you is ‘forever’ to them. Call Animal Services for more information. **Please note: Many of the shelter animals have been neglected prior to impound and it is unlikely many of them are up-to-date on vaccinations (including rabies vaccinations). Take care in handling the animals, wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the shelter, and change your clothes when you get home to avoid spreading any diseases.**
Shelter foster – Athens-Clarke County now has a shelter foster program! Fosters give the shelter animals get a break from the stress of shelter living and help make them more adoptable by providing information about the animals’ personality when away from the shelter. Whether it’s for a single night or until an animal is adopted, shelter fosters greatly increased the life-saving capacity of the shelter. To apply to become a shelter foster, please complete the online form and a staff member will be in contact with you.
Doggy Day Out Volunteer – Athens-Clarke County has a doggy day out program where approved volunteers can give shelter animals a day away from the shelter. This is a great way to help the shelter whether you want to take a shelter dog on a hike, to a private dog park, or on an adventure. A valid drivers license and proof of insurance is required for all Doggy Day Out Volunteers. To become a Doggy Day Out Volunteer, please sign up for a shelter volunteer orientation session and contact the shelter at (706) 613-3540 or email Brian Armbrust, the ACCAS Volunteer Coordinator, at [email protected]
Athenspets Advocate – Athenspets Advocates are shelter volunteers who take it to the next level by becoming a cheerleader for one or two harder to place animals at a time. These volunteers visit the shelter at least once each week and take photos of and record notes about an animal to whom they have committed, sharing the info on social media throughout the following week. Advocates serve a valuable function by getting photos of the shelter animals in front of a new audience, telling stories about the animals from a new perspective, and keeping a close eye on the shelter animals so that shelter staff knows as soon as possible if there’s a problem. Sign up for a shelter volunteer orientation session if you are interested in becoming an Advocate!
Information needed in Advocate posts: A photo or video and a sentence or two about what makes this pet special. Please make your post public and tag Athenspets so we can help publicize your Advocate animal! Additional information to include:
Athens-Clarke County Animal Services
125 Buddy Christian Way
Adoption Event Volunteer – Both ACCAS and Athenspets sponsor adoption events to help shelter dogs find their forever homes. This includes both on-site and off-site events. We need volunteers to help make these events happen. On-site events require 7-10 volunteers at ACCAS to help match interested adopters with their ideal pet. Off-site events include recurring events at PetSmart on Oconee Connector and Southern Brewing Company. Volunteers are needed to bring dogs to and from the events and act as handlers and advocates to introduce the shelter dogs to interested adopters. To volunteer for one of the adoption events, please complete the shelter volunteer orientation and then email Athenspets at [email protected] today!
Dog Training Class Volunteer – Athenspets is partnered with Georgia Dog Trainer LLC to offer expert dog training for the shelter dogs. We rely on volunteer handlers to bring dogs to classes each week on Fridays. To sign up to bring a shelter dog to training classes, please complete the shelter volunteer orientation and then contact Athenspets at [email protected] today!
Photo & story volunteer – Our website is an all-volunteer production and its core is the photos and bios we post so that folks know who is at the shelter and how great our animals are! Shelter volunteers opting to help Athenspets in this way are trained on the photo & story needs of the website and focus their shelter volunteer time at least twice a month on the newly impounded animals that are not already posted on our website. We provide photography & story training and have an internal calendar so that these volunteers know when they are most needed at the shelter. Sign up for a shelter volunteer orientation session and email [email protected] if you are interested in helping with the website bios!
Crossposting – If you can’t be a shelter volunteer, you can still help our dogs and cats get adopted by publicizing the posts from folks who are shelter volunteers on social media (like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), listservs, etc. and reaching out to rescues with which you have contacts. You may copy our pictures and stories to use for finding the animals homes while they’re at the shelter or for success stories – no copyright worries here! Be sure your posts include the pet’s ledger number and a link to the Athenspets bio for that animal. Dogs and cats do not stay at the shelter for long, so the information must be timely.
Fundraising – Athenspets funds needed medical care for the shelter animals to get them healthy and enrichment resources to keep them happy, and covers the cost of spaying & neutering pets in the community that have been identified as otherwise being at high risk of adding to pet overpopulation. We need all the help we can get–more money means more lives saved! We appreciate Facebook fundraisers for our benefit, donation drives, and monetary donations. To help with this important activity, please email [email protected]!
Administrative tasks – Running a volunteer group means there are numerous administrative tasks that must be managed. For example, being the webmaster, tracking the sponsorships, thanking our donors with emails and cards, doing the Form 990-EZs, and other such tasks are all done by volunteers so that *all* of the money raised can go to benefit the animals. Have a skill you’re willing to offer? Email us at [email protected] today!