Why I Volunteer

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Shelter Voices | 5 Comments
Why I Volunteer

I’m a recent graduate of Gordon State College and was introduced to Dolly Goodpuppy by one of my professors. I initially volunteered as a way to get extra credit in community service for my class, but soon realized the extra credit didn’t matter. I promised my professor that I would help by walking the dogs for about half an hour, but before I realized it, my dog walking visits began lasting around two hours at a time! Long after my Gordon class was over, I was having play dates with multiple dogs in an area set aside for that purpose. I’ve seen some amazing changes in dogs take place in that room. I’ve seen dogs go from cowering in the corner to fetching toys for me and sitting in my lap lavishing me with affection. Ricky Bobby is my favorite story of the wonderful transitions I’ve witnessed at Dolly Goodpuppy. When this Chihuahua mix first came to Dolly he was so broken no one could touch him. The first time I held him, his heart raced so that I was afraid it was going to explode. Because of the love and patience of volunteers, Ricky Bobby learned to trust and love people again. He raced to the room for play dates, showered affection on those lucky enough to be there, rode on parade floats, and represented Dolly at many outings. The little dog that seemed to be unadoptable now has a loving home to call his own!

Sheila with Puppy

Sheila with Puppy

I’ve also been very impressed with the way adoptions are handled at Dolly because great care is given to match dogs with the right people. Not only do dogs need to be matched with a future owner’s personality, they need an environment that suits their personalities. Dogs that come to Dolly leave with people who are screened to help ensure that they are the right fit. People adopting are given tips on behavior challenges they might face with their new pet. Every effort is made to insure that the dogs leaving Dolly will be well cared for.

While the adoption process is very important, addressing the problem of overpopulation is our greatest concern. Homeless animals have an impact on all of us. They can be aggressive toward our pets, spread rabies and other diseases, and be destructive to our property. According to the Humane Society of the United States, nationwide, there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Dogs that come to Dolly are given the vaccines they need and are spayed/neutered to ensure they don’t add to the population.  Dolly Goodpuppy is the local ambassador for the Atlanta Humane Society Mobile Spay/Neuter Unit. In 2013 Dolly sponsored four two-day clinics that accommodated 250 dogs. Each clinic was filled and had a waiting list. A Dolly volunteer mans a separate phone in order to book the appointments for the clinics. Dolly has an arrangement with local vets to send some of the larger females to them for spaying as well.

Since its conception in 2007, The Dolly Goodpuppy Society has continually evolved in order to have the greatest impact on reducing homelessness and overpopulation of the dogs in our area. This is a tremendous endeavor, but Dolly has had success in its efforts. This is a work-intensive and expensive endeavor, but with volunteers and supporters, it can be done. I have very little free time and limited resources, so I’m greedy about where my resources go. I don’t want them to be wasted. The time I spend with the dogs at Dolly Goodpuppy is like therapy for me, and I always look forward to my next visit with them. My involvement in Dolly has grown over time. I’ve enjoyed participating in fundraisers such as Barks-N-Boos, and helping with some of the bookkeeping. I’ve introduced several friends to Dolly who have enjoyed play dates and one who has added a new member to her family.

I encourage you to be part of the solution that Dolly Goodpuppy is providing. Come out and spend an hour with a dog to help them become more adoptable or help with a fundraiser. There are things that you can do that require a small amount of time. You can even make a donation from this web site. Any donation you make is appreciated and beneficial. Since the Dolly Goodpuppy Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations are tax-deductible.

An association that started because of a desire for extra credit has turned into a commitment that brings me much joy and satisfaction because I make a difference. The time I invest not only affects the dogs I come into contact with, it benefits my neighbors because it lessens the adverse effects of homeless dogs.


  1. Dolly Goodpuppy
    January 18, 2014

    Shelia, we love you and the dogs love you. Thanks

  2. Dottie
    January 18, 2014

    Thanks Shelia nice article and what a gift to have your dedication and commitment!

  3. Cynthia Smith
    January 30, 2014

    I love Dolly Goodpuppy, I love all animal’s but mostly dogs and they are doing a great community service. God bless you all at Dolly Good puppy. Thank you for all you do!

  4. Abbey
    July 15, 2014

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  5. Tracey Paul
    August 28, 2017

    I homeschool my 3 children age 7,12, and 13. We would love to come and help one day with your dogs. Please let me know if this is possible. Thank you so much. Tracey Paul

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