Take a closer look at what it takes to run an animal shelter, and you'll discover there's more to it than first meets the eye.
"Oh, how we would love to simply play with puppies and kittens all day," said Sean Baker, manager of the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove.
"But the reality is that there isn't ever enough time to do that. From endless laundry, to daily scrub downs, and everything in between, we rely on dedicated volunteers to help us make this happen," he added.
To put it into context, Baker explained that a team of more than 200 volunteers has been instrumental in helping Langley Animal Protection Society staff care for about 1,500 "needy friends" that came through the shelter in the past year. That's assisting with everything from walking the dogs and loving the cats to scooping more poop than anyone would care to imagine, he said.
Baker shared this message with a 360-person crowd at the Furry Tail Endings gala earlier this month, just before presenting accolades to a number of the longtime volunteers with LAPS.
"From the old 'rat shack' through our move to Patti's [Dale, LAPS founder and shelter namesake] dream home, you have been there for us," Baker said, calling up 14 people who have been volunteering for five years or longer.
Although he officially handed out these new five-year service awards to each, many he explained, have been volunteering for much longer - some since LAPS inception.
"I am sorry that we didn't do this sooner, but I guess the wait to your 10-year award will just be that much shorter," he joked.
e tos ine The awards were presented during the fifth annual gala at the Coast Hotel on Nov. 3. The gala is the local animal organization's largest single fundraiser, which this year generated an estimated $78,000 for the cause.
The money is earmarked for a spay and neutering program, more dog training, and the eventually construction of a community education centre onsite.
Several long-time volunteers were honoured for their years of service during the recent LAPS gala
. Linda Borden (nine years)
. Darrell Dean (nine years)
. Shannon Jenzen (six years)
. Donna Linke (eight years)
. Brian Lane (six years)
. Sue Lane (six years)
. Margo Dyck (five years)
. Betty Davidson (nine years plus)
. Sandy Russell (nine years plus)
. Pauline Markle (eight years)
. Ken McBride (eight years)
. Sandra McPherson (five years)
. Cindy Eckert (10 years)
. Sharon Boehm (10 years)